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Ditch Wizard : Incantation (EP)

The debut EP from Ditch Wizard offers a potent mix of Stoner, Doom, and a smattering of other heavy rock influences.

Having formed in Connecticut in January 2015, the 'Incantation' EP sees Ditch Wizard issue their debut recording. Regular readers may recall Doom-metal.com's interview with the band late last year during which they confirmed this raucous debut was recorded live with just vocals and lead guitar added later, and, unsurprisingly, it has proved to be a rough and ready release with a live, vibrant feel. A potent mix of Stoner, Doom, and a smattering of other heavy rock influences, 'Incantation' provides a primal introduction to the world of Ditch Wizard.

'Crystal Lake' kicks things off with the sound of strange incantations, a mysterious voice seemingly casting some kind of spell, before morphing into a lumbering Stoner riff that quickly goes nuclear. Fuzzy guitar tones, gravelly vocals and some bluesy licks culminate in some wild soloing that brings the opener to a storming conclusion and a hugely impressive start to the EP. If anything, the basic production levels add to the vital rawness of the material.

Throughout the all-too-brief six tracks of this tantalising debut, Ditch Wizard perfect their Stoner/Doom sound with some monumental riffs and impressive solos from lead guitarist Tony, whilst also throwing in some other sounds, ensuring some depth and variety. 'Hive Kind', for instance, is a frenetic burst of chaotic, punky energy with some engagingly subversive lyrics. 'There's nothing like a world on fire/to keep a people pacified' snarls vocalist Jake in one of a small number of political references on the EP.

Finishing strongly at just before the half hour mark with closing track, 'Merica', 'Incantation' leaves us with another groove-laden Stoner barnstormer. A scathing appraisal of modern America with its cry of 'It's not hard to be the braver/when the scales are tipped in our favour', it's a powerful, and, perhaps given the divisive nature of events Stateside over the last year or so, timely track that promises much to come from the intriguing Ditch Wizard.

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Crystal Lake
2. Busted Up
3. Five & Dime
4. Gypsy's Eyes
5. Hive Kind
6. Merica

Duration : Approx. 29 minutes

Visit the Ditch Wizard bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-06-17 by Nick Harkins
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