We love stoner metal. Distortion. Doom. Sabbathian riff worship. A decade ago we wandered into the lush psychedelic grooves of the stoner sub-genre with albums like Bloodhorse’s Horizoner, Meanderthal by Torche and Baroness’ Blue Record. The journey has been long and good, and we get really excited when a band comes around that demonstrates a real love for and mastery of the genre. Wizzerd’s self-titled release from back in June will take you for a spectacular ride. Jhalen Salazar’s vocals help set this album apart from more derivative bands, with multiple distinct styles from melodic crooning on Phoenix to the doom growls on Wraith. The satisfyingly stoney instrumentation seems to follow the dynamism of Salazar’s rich well-trained voice. Moments of shiny high-fi verses are patterned in sludge and grime. The track Warrior is reminiscent of The Sword’s work, but feels like an improvement on the idea with multiple flowing movements and resounding vocal melodies. You will not be able to turn this album off. Thanks to Doomed & Stoned for getting these guys to Portland for a spectacular show, and providing some pics!