Album Review: Black Wizard – Livin’ Oblivion

Canadian thrash outfit Black Wizard plays it hard and heavy with their music. Not just with songwriting and overall musicial formulation, but with themes and concepts that hit deeply. ‘Livin’ Oblivion’, the latest release from Black Wizard, focuses on themes of self-desecration and individual moral decay. On top of that, the darkly formulated thrash atmosphere paints the picture of the world slowly dripping off the canvas.

Much of what Black Wizard does is rooted in the thrash of bands like Testament and Satan, it’s the type of thrash that reviles in dark tones and desperation. The vocal work of Adam Grant crafts a disturbing image of one livid with desperation; Grant’s powerful vocals seemingly breaking through emotional limits which inspires a vision of one desperately searching.

What exactly is being sought after? The concept of ‘Livin’ Oblivion’ revolves around a world which is failing its people, a people who have steeped themselves within moral decay leading to oblivion and continue to allow the world to fail them whilst failing themselves. It’s a very heavy subject, and it isn’t approached in any light measures.

Many of the tracks add to the power of this specific concept, the album opener ‘Two of These Nights’ introduces this concept with classic thrash superiority; blazing guitars and driving, melodic vocals which push forward the moderately tempo’d, yet still fiery music.

‘Feast or Famine’ takes the music in an even further direction with an aggressive, angered demeanor and it slams itself across your mind and body with serious force. It’s got some Megadeth-tier aggression applied to its makings, plenty of screeching solos layered over furious, chaotic musical work. What really grabs you are the different flows ‘Livin’ Oblivion’ takes you through; some of these tracks being pure blazers while some hit a Thin-Lizzy-styled twin guitar darkness.

Black Wizard presents a thickly laid roadmap throughout the desperate vision presented under a lens of pessimistic wonder. As you journey through the record, each track presents itself as a distinctive stop on the overall journey through the world of ‘Livin’ Oblivion’, or as Black Wizard would say it, a journey through the declining world around us.

‘Livin’ Oblivion’ offers to you Black Wizard’s view of the world, by the end of the record you’ll have a lens for which to see the world through the eyes of the record. It’s an impactful record, one which presents more than just music to hear.

Black Wizard create a truly personal record, one which shines a dark sheen over the impressively formulated dark-thrash magic. A must listen for any fan of metal.

– by Ryan Falla

Rating: 8.5/10

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Record Label: Listenable
Release Date: March 16 2018

Track Listing:
1. Two Of These Nights (4:11)
2. Feast Or Famine (4:56)
3. James Wolfe (6:05)
4. Livin’ Oblivion (5:36)
5. Cascadia (3:25)
6. Portraits (4:35)
7. Poisoned Again (4:29)
8. Heavy Love (5:38)
9. Eternal Illusion (6:36)

Total Duration: 45:31

Black Wizard links: website | facebook | twitter | instagram