Release date: February 16, 2018
Livin’ Oblivion, Black Wizard’s fourth album, is a doozy. Already one of the Lower Mainland’s best metal bands, the boys have outdone themselves with this release.
Benefiting from the stability of an unchanged lineup since 2016’s New Waste, the band gives an assured performance on Livin’ Oblivion. Black Wizard have built on and improved their signature sound. With a heavy-metal core, the band brings in elements of classic and stoner rock to make something all of their own.
Although not a full-blown concept album, Livin’ Oblivion is heavily informed by its themes — some serious ones, at that. The LP’s title track is, in the band’s own words, about “a large number of disenfranchised youth and young adults that would rather live their lives in oblivion (drinking, drugs, partying etc.) than chasing any kind of future or dreams, simply because the rest of the world seems to be falling apart.”
Other tracks are less heavy, both in terms of style and themes. For example, ‘Heavy Love’ is referred to by the band as “the ballad off the record,” although ballad is a relative term here.
On this record, Black Wizard pays tribute to some of the greats, right the way from Black Sabbath through the Scorpions and Metallica up to the present day. That mixture of influences prevents the album from growing stale at any point. Whatever genre the Black Wizard boys channel on a particular track, they manage to make it truly their own.
Livin’ Oblivion by Black Wizard is released in North America by Listenable Records on March 16, 2018. Listen to the first single, ‘Feast or Famine,’ below, or click here to preorder the album.
You should also make sure to check out the Livin’ Oblivion release show on February 16 at the Rickshaw Theatre, when Black Wizard will be backed up by Mean Jeans as well as locals Dead Quiet, Waingro and Killer Deal. It may be your last chance to see the band in Vancouver for a while as they are about to head out on a European tour with Anciients (recently Juno-nominated).