BEING THERE: Electric Wizard @ Union Transfer


Photo by DAN LONG

I don’t have many vices anymore, but catching the first night of a highly anticipated tour is an addiction — especially this night. Dorset, England’s Electric Wizard is the epitome of doom. It’s not just the satanic guitar licks and the subterranean rumble of the bass, it’s also the dreadful lyrics, wherein the band revels in the occult, horror, drugs and death — all appealing things to a sick girl like me. To see this band live is a fuckin’ treat to say the very least. Their stateside live appearances are highly infrequent, which makes it that much sweeter to finally see them play. With repeated online updates trumpeting the news of show after show of their U.S. tour selling out weeks in advance, the excitement level in the metal community soon reached fever pitch. I had been craving more of their live sound after being wowed by their prior U.S. appearance at Maryland Deathfest in 2012. As the crowd filtered in to Union Transfer last night, the distinctive fragrance of parking lot over-indulgence clung to concertgoers. Satan’s Satyrs began their set and pumped out a shit-ton of energy, warming up the crowd for the epic doomsayer-ing that would follow. As the lights dimmed, the smell of sage began to roll through the crowd. A loud droning began and the screams of kids throughout the venue were uncontainable. Finally, the band takes the stage. The moment we had been waiting for since buying our tickets the day they went on sale had, at long last, arrived. Lead singer/guitarist Jus Oborn lifted his beer in greeting. Everyone took their place, and finally the Lucifer-ian strains of “Witchcult Today” lurched from the speakers like a black mass processional across a moon-lit moor at midnight. Clad in darkness and denim, the Wizards loomed over the crowd as rear-screen projected eerie horror movie imagery created an appropriately macabre back drop. As they began to play “Black Mass,” space became tight as people pushed to the front, soaking in every note, and the intensity never faltered straight through to the end of “Funeralopolis,” the final song of the Electric Wizard’s set. As I looked back through the crowd it was clear that we were all right where we should be. Expectations were exceeded, and even after the band had left the stage the crowd refused to budge. We all wanted more, but now it was time to go home. An intense high was triggered by the concert, but lucky for me, I don’t have to come down just yet. I’ll be following the band around for their next three concerts, in cities I love — New York, Chicago and Baltimore — living on nothing but high-decibel death, destruction and barbecue. Hail Satan! — KATY WHITLOW