Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wicked Inquisition-Wicked Inquisition

Tridroid Records

Formed in 2008 by Nate Towle (guitars and vocals), Wicked Inquisition is a doom metal band that lists it's influences as Black Sabbath, Budgie, Blue Öyster Cult, Trouble, Witchfinder General, Pentagram, Bang, Saint Vitus, Judas Priest, Spirit Caravan, Blood Farmers, Blue Cheer, Buffalo, The Obsessed, Uriah Heep, Captain Beyond and Lucifers Friend. With one demo, two EPs and now this self-titled album to it's name, Wicked Inquisition was at first a one man band as seen and heard on the demo "A Turn to False Hope" and the group's first EP, "Self Made Tomb". Main man Nate Towle (ex-The Rare Breed, Enter The Worms (live), ex-Burning Cedar, ex-Reshetar and the Pitch Blacks, ex-The House Wives) not only sang, but he handled all of the instrumentation on these 3-track recordings. From the very beginning Nate was driven by a love of bands like Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus, Blue Öyster Cult, Trouble and Budgie and given the boss cover of "Livin' in a Ram's Head" (Pentagram) on "A Turn to False Hope"* this righteous front-man/guitarist was not one to shy away from such choice influences! But then again why should he? If you really think about it pretty much every new band is influenced by some older band and usually those older bands were influenced by even older bands. And on and on we could go. On "Wicked Inquisition" we're looking at a sincere love and deep appreciation for the likes of Black Sabbath, Trouble, The Obsessed, Blue Öyster Cult and Saint Vitus, but we are getting way ahead of ourselves as it was the band's excellent "Silence Thereafter" that really paved the way for the band's upcoming self-release. Released in 2013 to high praise and justifiable positive reviews (and graciously enough available as a name-your-own-price digital download at the above link!), "Silence Thereafter" found Wicked Inquisition transitioning over to full-band status thanks to the addition of guitarist Ben Stevens (ex-Burning Cedar), bassist Jordan Anderson and drummer Jack Mckoskey (A Moment in Time, ex-Burning Cedar). With that same line-up in place for two years now we can finally turn our attention to this, the group's first full-length album which will arrive on May 8th, 2015. 
For guitarist/vocalist Nate Towle and his crew of doom metal disciples you just couldn't ask for a better opener than the pulsating "Black Magik Nacht"! The album's obvious choice for first single, "Black Magik Nacht" is groovy as fuck and with it's sweet mixture of 70's hard and heavy rock riffs and (light) psychedelic doom this six minute jam is absolutely epic! You can here it for yourself by clicking on the YouTube link below. "Black Magik Nacht" is effortlessly followed by easy riders like "Crimson Odyssey" and "Sun Flight", but for those who have come to this party in dire need of true blue slow and torturous doom there's the track "M.A.D.". On "M.A.D." these doom rockers from the Twin Cities of Minnesota dig out some tasty sweet leaf before smoking it all up in a haze of heavy riffs! Heavy riffs also come into play on the soul crushing "In Shackles" and the Black Sabbath-leaning cut, "Death of Man". Lyrically and sound-wise it is arguably the closest Wicked Inquisition gets at full-fledged Black Sabbath homage, but regardless of such thin transparency the song "Death of Man" is still all kinds of fun thanks to the passion of Nate Towle. Meanwhile there is a hint of Sleep Hollow in the ever-pleasant "Tomorrow Always Knows" and with the band's signature song/title track finishing things off nicely it's hard to find fault in an album like this. If there is any criticism to be had with "Wicked Inquisition" then it would have to be the familiarity that exists in this band's solos. Or if you will the distinct playing style of Wicked Inquisition's lead guitarist. Much like Tony Iommi before them or even Dave Mustaine** the lead guitarist in Wicked Inquisition leaves his trademark sound wherever he goes. There really isn't anything wrong with that as there are hundreds of guitarists both past and present that has their own style going on. It is just an interesting observation that in no way whatsoever would keep me from sharing this band with doom metal fans. In fact I would still strongly recommend this album and suggest that if you get a chance to catch this Minnesota four-piece in a live setting then by all means jump to it! For more information Wicked Inquisition be sure to head over to Facebook and you can pre-order a copy of the group's self-titled album here. Between the doom influences (Black Sabbath, Trouble, Saint Vitus, The Obsessed, etc.) and the misc. rock, hard rock and heavy metal that has found it's way into this band's spookadelic style (Budgie, Blue Öyster Cult, Manilla Road, Bang, Uriah Heap, etc.) there is a lot to like about this young act. This is definitely a band that I'll be keeping an eye on!

"Black Magik Nacht" can be heard here and might I suggest you crank this bad boy up LOUD? You're welcome in advance!

*Per the Metal Archives. While I couldn't find an actually link to the 2010 demo in question it should nonetheless be noted that on the group's myspace (remember those?) there seems to be a cover of Pentagram's "Dying World"!

** Don't ask me why, but some of the lead work on "Wicked Inquisition" reminded me of Megadeth's front-man/founder. Not necessarily in the sense that Wicked Inquisition's lead guitarist sounds like Dave, but from the stand point that both have a very distinct style going on.

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