Reading about WIZARDTHRONE for the first time left me curious about what to expect from such an illustrious line-up, as this band features members of AETHER REALM, GLORYHAMMER, and ALESTORM (among others). Maybe redneck pirates flying with unicorns through space? It sounded promising for sure, so I was keen to take a closer look at this project, that are releasing their debut album “Hypercube Necrodimensions” via Napalm Records tomorrow, on July 16th, 2021. The idea behind this album is to offer a bombastic journey through hyperspace and otherworldly realities, traversing vivid sci-fi multiverses in the spirit of H.P. Lovecraft. The cover artwork pays tribute to this as well, so do the crazy song titles, underlining the seriousness of the whole adventure. But how about the music?
The journey starts with “Black Hole Quantum Thermodynamics,” offering epic keyboard sounds, blast beats, as well as powerful, harsh vocals. A narrator’s voice can be heard too, accompanied by a harpsichord and a short guitar solo – so far, so good. The following “Frozen Winds of Thyraxia” continues in the same manner, as does “Incantation of the Red Order,” including amazing guitar and keyboard solo parts, but together with “Forbidden Equations Deep Within the Epimethean Wasteland,” also reveals the weakness of “Hypercube Necrodimensions:” the lack of diversity between the songs. The vocals and guitars are mostly together in the same rhythm and the repetitive, too dominant keyboard harmonies, as well as the smashing drums during the verse, don’t leave space for the other instruments. There is variety and amazing musicianship in the solos and when the narrator joins, but the epic mix, which is a great thing normally, often overlays the virtuosity here.
“Of Tesseractual Gateways and the Grand Duplicity of Xhul” is the first track starting with a different kind of mood, having a focus more on the powerful riffs. Next up is the title track, which is one of my favorites on this album. The great finale comes with the 14-minute “Beyond the Wizardthrone” and finally, they show the full potential this project would have had: epic, varied, and supported by a well-balanced mix.
Even though I was really looking forward to hear “Hypercube Necrodimensions,” I have to admit that WIZARDTHRONE’s debut couldn’t fully convince me, unfortunately. You can find all ingredients for a bombastic journey through hyperspace and otherworldly realities, with all musicians delivering the best of their high technical skills, but this often can’t be heard because of the mixing. The album opens promisingly and ends with a blast, but in-between, the production sometimes suffocates the skill and more variety in mood and tempo would have been welcome too. What stood out the most was the great guitar and keyboard solos. Last but not least, this project could work very well in a live setting with a fitting stage show because of its epicness and the consistent space theme.
Written by Katha
1. Black Hole Quantum Thermodynamics
2. Frozen Winds of Thyraxia
3. Incantation of the Red Order
4. Forbidden Equations Deep Within the Epimethean Wasteland
5. The Coalescence of Nine Stars in the System Once Known as Markarian-231
6. Of Tesseractual Gateways and the Grand Duplicity of Xhul
7. Hypercube Necrodimensions
8. Beyond the Wizardthrone (Cryptopharmalogical Revelations of the Riemann Zeta Function)
V. Morbistopheles Jones – Bass/Vocals
M. Archistrategos Barber – Guitar/Vocals
M. Xaviculus Bell – Guitar
C. Hyperiax Bowes – Keys/Narration
E. Wizardthrone Brown – Drums