Basing your entire theme around a fantasy game is an ambitious approach to say the least, but Bog Wizard have taken on this daunting task in their new album, ‘From The Mire’.
Beginning with a fanatical and sceptical news flash, ‘(You Decide)’ is a questionable and confusing opening that doesn’t let you know which path you’re about to be led down. Following with crunching riffs and steadily plodding beats, ‘Submission In Defiance’ drudges between the lines of sludge metal and stoner rock with distant wailing vocals that are in-sync with the decaying atmosphere.
Burrowing further down into the rabbit hole, ‘City In The Mountain’ echoes with drips of rain and rushes of wind that are accompanied by gently strumming strings to create a haunting feeling of loss that’s matched in Ben Lombard‘s distant vocals and low level utterances.
Injecting much needed pace to proceedings, ‘Shapeshifter’ ratchets up the speed and intensity to black metal realms, with visceral screams to add a sharper edge that is dulled by the live recording style of the production. Nothing is over-produced or interweaved to create a massive wall of sound to slam you into the concrete surface, but instead is separated and singular for each element.
Harking to a slowed down version of Adam West‘s Batman theme tune, ‘Gnarled Cane’ repeatedly plays over the same chords with chirping synths, muted riffs, and reverberating solos that conjure a nice instrumental break, but there’s nothing to stand up and shout about or to get your neck bones cracking too.
Taking on a progressive approach, closer ‘Swamp Golem’ infuses each element already displayed into a maniacal twist of tentacles and swamp beasts that endear itself to the adventurous fantasy land that it encapsulates itself around. Padded with Harlen Linke‘s soft style drums and various use of different instrumentation, it’s certainly the high point in this very lengthy journey.
Bog Wizard certainly have a theme, sound, and clear direction on ‘From The Mire’, but it just lacks a bit of energy and focus to give it a much sharper and more distinctive approach. At over an hour, you should probably be playing Dungeons & Dragons as well while listening to this.