Merlin - The Wizard review




Bandcamp music player
Reviewer:
7.5

14 users:
7.57
Band: Merlin
Album: The Wizard
Release date: January 2018


01. Abyss
02. Gravelord
03. Sage's Crystal Staff
04. Golem
05. Iron Borne
06. Tarantula Hawk
07. The Wizard Suite


So how do you take a genre that's been done to death like stoner metal and make it more exciting? Well, add a saxophone, obviously!

Merlin have been going on for a while, this being their 4th record, and they would've been lost for me in a sea of stoner bands that are good but completely lacking anything of their own had it not been for this record. With the recent addition of Stu Kersting, Merlin have extended their sonic palette with the sax. And damn, does it work so well.

You can tell that the saxophone isn't just a gimmick here, as the band works to cleverly incorporate it in such a way that it builds harmoniously along with the guitars and the rest of the instruments. One just needs to listen to the jam that is "Abyss" to hear how much more this adds to the song and its sense of groove. That being said, I do wish the guitars were a bit heavier during the riffy grooves in order to pack a harder punch, but other times they blend much more seamlessly, like on "Sage's Crystal Staff".

While there is a slight sense that the horns overpower the other instruments in some sections, this isn't an issue all throughout; there's fuzz and bass and some keyboard textures galore. Not all tracks have horns, as Stu plays guitar as well, and the band also has a new bassist for this album and both of their presences can be felt. The Wizard culminates with a 12-minute-long suite that brings together everything that makes this album great. I can't look at the performance or the songwriting or the production and say that it is top-notch, but it's great for what it is.

The Wizard is indeed one of the most exciting stoner metal albums I have heard recently and Merlin make a decent effort in crafting some tasty jams. Awaken the wizard.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 7


 



Written on 23.02.2018 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 8   Visited by: 101 users
23.02.2018 - 21:46
Sepulchre
Lord Hypnos
Fun fact - All the songs/lyrics are based on the video game Dark Souls
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24.02.2018 - 16:41
Regmike
Man I gave this album a listen because of this review. Great stuff
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24.02.2018 - 22:30
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Sepulchre on 23.02.2018 at 21:46

Fun fact - All the songs/lyrics are based on the video game Dark Souls

So is this album the Dark Souls of music?
----
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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24.02.2018 - 22:37
Karlabos
Weirdo of MS
Written by RaduP on 24.02.2018 at 22:30

Written by Sepulchre on 23.02.2018 at 21:46

Fun fact - All the songs/lyrics are based on the video game Dark Souls

So is this album the Dark Souls of music?

In other words you reach the very first song and it's already too much for you and then you drop it? =)
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2016 - 2017
2018 - 2019
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24.02.2018 - 22:39
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Regmike on 24.02.2018 at 16:41

Man I gave this album a listen because of this review. Great stuff

Glad my reviews give stuff some visibility
----
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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24.02.2018 - 22:42
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Karlabos on 24.02.2018 at 22:37

Written by RaduP on 24.02.2018 at 22:30

Written by Sepulchre on 23.02.2018 at 21:46

Fun fact - All the songs/lyrics are based on the video game Dark Souls

So is this album the Dark Souls of music?

In other words you reach the very first song and it's already too much for you and then you drop it? =)

You just gotta roll around and hit to defeat the wizard
----
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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25.02.2018 - 01:05
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Great review, gonna have to get on it soon. You make it sound very..... saxxy
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Now who should I call? Should I call Mr. Strawberry?
No, I don't think I'll call Mr. Strawberry. I don't think he's taking calls.
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25.02.2018 - 13:03
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Apothecary on 25.02.2018 at 01:05

saxxy

Dear Lord
----
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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