Sign of the Sorcerer – Obsessions of the Vile
Reviewed: September 2021
Released: 2021, Bandcamp
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
On their OBSESSIONS OF THE VILE debut, Knoxville’s Sign of the Sorcerer pull deep from their bag of inspired tricks to deliver a murky, drug n’ occult (can we just call it druggult from now on?) sonic doomapalooza.
Yes, there is indeed a fair resemblance to Electric Wizard in both substance and veneer, but c’mon, at this point it’s easier to ask who hasn’t copped the Wizard’s vibe for their own use? But, to the band’s credit, the 5 tunes on OBSESSIONS OF THE VILE are readily more interesting and varied than the last few EW records (sorry Justin). Most of the songs follow a similar blueprint of hazy, wah-wah’d riffs that trudge slow and low, while Sky Brooks’ vocals are recessed in the mix amidst a wall of reverb and echo. Reminiscent of the early Uncle Acid records, it’s an effective recipe in creating a mood full of ooky spooky intentions.
All of that doesn’t mean much if the songs themselves aren’t any good, but good grief, there’s a lot to like here. The riff that opens “Necropsychodelia” sounds like Dave Chandler channeling Funkadelic by way of Vincent Price. “Satan’s Choice” has a slow bounce to it that progressively morphs into one of the best hooks on the record, and “Nosferatu” imbibes in some Sabbathian-exploration with its menacing groove and plodding jam session that closes the procession. And all of this was recorded live in the studio to boot, impressive.
Independently released and way the hell off of my radar save for a chance encounter, OBSESSIONS OF THE VILE is easily one of the better (and more consistent end to end) doom records you’ll hear this year. Compared to Sign of the Sorcerer’s earlier singles and what not, this album is light years beyond anything they’ve committed to tape so far and sets the bar pretty high for whatever comes next. Turn down the lights, burn some incense and play this album LOUD.