Jan-Simon : Any idea what Muse would have sounded like had its members not been English schoolboys in the nineties but a bunch of Californian hippies in the seventies and eighties? Probably a lot like Old Man Wizard. This Californian trio has – through blood, sweat and tears, created their album ‘Blame It All On Sorcery’. Literally, because the story of its creation is one of injury, lack of money and crowdfunding and is the perfect example that if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.
‘Blame It All On Sorcery’ is a sympathetic sounding piece of good old prog rock with some occasional wild outbursts. But generally speaking Old Man Wizard is what might happened if the guys from Muse had grown up in a world full of Pink Floyd, Gentle Giant and Van der Graaf Generator, although in comparison Old Man Wizard is keeping it all very simple. Yes, they do use unusual, complex time signatures and their vocal lines are very reminiscent of those used in the early seventies, but other than that Old Man Wizard is far more rock than GG and VdGG have ever been. Especially in the second half of the album they really let it all hang out. ‘Innocent Hands’ starts as if a serious mistake has been made during the mastering of the album. Why is there a black metal song on this prog rock album? Fortunately (?) the blastbeat and the archetypical power riff makes way for more conventional prog vocals and it turns out to be the same band after all. At the times they put the pedal to the metal the band is not only just like Muse, it is also at its best. ‘The Blind Prince’ is another song that uses the diametrically opposed elements heavy rock and prog introversion. In ‘Last Ride Of The Ancients’ on the other hand it is as if a guitar solo was used that Brian May recorded in a lost hour while Freddy Mercury was doing a forty-fourth overdub of “Let me go!”. Which brings us back to Muse, because isn’t Muse the Queen of today? Still Muse fans should not think this is an album for them, because ‘Blame It All on Sorcery’ is too retro for that. Too much pure progressive rock. The only thing missing is a prominent mellotron.