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  • Writer's pictureJoshuah Jones

This Damn, Dirty ape!!!

Review for the new EP from Gorilla Wizard titled, White Knuckle/Black Magic, listen here!

10,000 years ago, a gorilla ate a space banana and gained magical powers. 9,997 years later he started a metal band. And thus Gorilla Wizard was born! Birthed from the magical banana powers, aside from being packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, Gorilla Wizard is fully loaded with pulverizing riffs and slick grooves, is it safe to call this, Jungle Metal? I'm not sure but it gives off vibes of Donkey Kong going ape shit in the pits of a Slayer concert all hopped up on spiked bananas. The tunes these guys have layed out for us on this new EP, White Knuckle/Black Magic, are a animalistic approach to the likes of those stoner and sludge metal bands in the scene and adds their own twist to the sounds almost as if they studied all of King Kong's films and wanted to write a metal soundtrack to each one of them, so lets bust open the cage and go on this metal adventure together as we explore the wild musical landscape of Gorilla Wizard!

The opening track, No Replacement For Displacement, presents the primal sounds that I have come to know from Gorilla Wizard. Fuzzy guitars, slick riffs, punishing drums and vicious vocals all assault you from the get go. From classic rocking grooves to heavy beat down style riffs, this track is definitely full of energy and will straight up melt your face off! Gorilla Wizard is in top form here with several key moments of this song that keep it driving full force until the brutal ending, including a shredding solo and a fanfuckingtastic mid song section that would make the thrash metal gods of yore weep with joy.

Thrashmaster is up next and it opens with a guttural riff with a brutal vocal delivery before diving in to a quasi punk rock meets hard core sounding groove and vocal style change up. This song hears Gorilla Wizard blending more styles into their tool box and using them masterfully. A continuous head bobbing tempo keeps this song flowing nicely, even over the spacious and tripped out guitar solo section of the song. I'm getting heavy old school White Zombie meets Carnivore vibes here and I absolutely love it, this one will definitely get your asses moving! Thrashmaster is a short but sweet ride here but it delivers the goods all crammed in to this tiny package that proves you can still make an effective song in about 3 minutes, they all don't have to be epics and this song proves this.

Up next is their single, At War With Our Past Selves. A Doom styled track, this one is more of a slow burn with a nice flow to it. The vocals and drums seem to be the focus on this track and they keep the pacing moving along nicely. The mid song break down section hits nice and hard and keeps things interesting in this song, complete with a classic noise solo before hitting you with more brutal riffing over those punishing drums I mentioned earlier before closing things out with some rather gut wrenching vocal attacks. This one definitely has a retro feel to it, blending old fuzzy rock and roll with their heavy metal riffs and it works very well together with their musicianship here.

Frostwound is our next stop on this jam session with Gorilla Wizard and we are treated to a rather beastial opening before this song opens up with some rather impressive song writing. The way Gorilla Wizard pays attention to little details in these songs is refreshing, they could just blast through these songs going riff by riff in a paint by numbers type approach, but they decided to add little musical flairs to tail ends of riffs and little quick tempo changes here and there to already established riffs to spice things up a bit, and it's just fun as hell to listen to and breaks things up from the standard rinse and repeat method of song writing that so many artists are guilty of. This song may well be my favorite of this EP and I feel it showcases the entirety of what Gorilla Wizard bring to the table with their music. Killer work guys!

Closing this Ep out is the track, This Isn't My First Apocalypse. A more crust punk meets fuzz metal approach seems to be the focus here in this song. The drums trick things up a bit and make for a fantastic experience that plays alongside some fun and thick guitar riffing with the bass pounding away at your senses. This song simply put, hits hard, turn this fucker up! This Isn't My First Apocalypse is a great track to end this EP, it's chock full of heavy riffs and aggressive song arrangements. I found myself repeating this track more than the others simply because it has a different energy than the previous songs and just hits differently, like a culmination to everything that came before this and the other tracks were building up to this moment of the EP before exploding all over the place in a display of metal domination.

White Knuckle/Black Magic is a solid entry to an already impressive and growing library from Gorilla Wizard proving that they aren't just some one trick pony. If this is any indication of this bands musicianship, then the future for Gorilla Wizard is bright and full of all the bananas they can eat. I give this release a 9 out of 10, I usually try to give critiques for bands here during these reviews but I literally couldn't find anything to say. Gorilla Wizard knows when to let a riff ride to truly let the listener appreciate it, they know when to let a riff breathe to expand upon it, they have the grooves, the heavy hitting moments and the song structures that show that they truly know how to write kick ass metal, and that's what's important. No flash, no fluff, just a group of guys rocking the fuck out and recording it all for us to enjoy, that's it, that's all it needs to be sometimes, like Gene Simmons has said numerous times over, "Keep It Simple Stupid", and Gorilla Wizard doesn't need to be told twice, they just want to kick your asses with their music. You can support them and grab a copy of their latest release and their past releases on their band camp here and give them a follow on their social media pages right here. Go ape shit, you'll love it! Be sure to check out their interview they did with Metal For The Masses Radio Show down below to get to know the guys behind the music!

Review done by Joshuah Jones, the bassist of The Obsidian Resurrection.

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Joshuah Jones
Joshuah Jones
May 25, 2023


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