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Special 4/20 Classic Review: Electric Wizard's Dopethrone By Jeremy Johnson

Updated: Aug 10, 2019

I first slathered my ears with the buzzy audio peanut butter that was Electric Wizard's Dopethrone in the 2000s, amid revisiting my Smashing Pumpkins infatuation. (Vocalist, Jus Oborn, and head Pumpkin Billy Corgan share that snarky, snarly vocal fry). It occurred to me to review Dopethrone as this Bicycle Day (2019) approached. And what better way to take this little edible I was saving?

Grocery stores and parks are my favorite places for low-grade hallucinogens. Since it was kind of cold, I opted for my local Target as the venue for this dose n’ doom. I parked, ate my gummy, popped in my earbuds and pressed play. I let the first track, Vinum Sabathi, sink into me right there in the lot. It was like snuggling into a warm blanket of sludge. Fun game: Close your eyes really tight then open them, everything looks like it’s made of ants for like a second and a half!

So then for track two, Funeralopolis, I ventured inside the great, red, consumer mecca. I laughed at these for pretty much the whole song I think.

Then as I walked around, I noticed a couple people fixate on me, like an older man stopped his cart and watched me pass. I’ve never really gotten the paranoid thing from weed, so I just chalked it up to, “lol mmkay,” and kept strolling. Then a lady with a basket and Yoga pants, same thing; she made eye-contact with me and went to ask me a question before I smiled, averted my eyes and kept walking. Don’t people know that earbuds= no conversations please? Oh shit, I’m wearing my earbuds right? I’m not just walking through the store listening to Dopethrone on full volume through my phone, right? I check. I’m good! People are just being weird!

Track three, Weird Tales: I. Electric Frost - II. Golgotha - III. Altar of Melektaus, is fucking crazy. I really wish I could be more specific than that. There are lyrics, something about a gothic waterpark? I mean, that’s probably wrong, but that’s all I kept thinking. By the end of this song I was crying in the candle section because a Magnolia Farms candle reminded me of reading books in bed with my mom when I was seven. You ever cry at a smell before? It’s a treat.

I spent tracks 4-7 strolling the aisles, still being gawked at by big-eyed Target patrons. I thought maybe I was wearin’ an offensive shirt or something, so I take a gander at my shirt. And oh god. There it is. I had bitten off more than this psychonaut could chew…

I wore a red fucking shirt… to TARGET. I looked identical to an employee.

I’m surprised a manager didn’t fire me for being so incredibly shitty at the job I was disguised to do. I retreated to my car for the final track, Dopethrone.

Dopethrone (the album) is an epic, flanger-riffic, smoke cloud dripping in resin and angel blood. It’s the UK doom group at their peak, coughing out slow, exploding power chords with confident ferocity. It’s ideal for holing up in a black light crystal cave with your dankest friends, and passing the peace pipe. I don’t think I’ll make my Dopethrone Target visit a tradition, but who knows? If I do, I might transform into some sort of demonic Target 4/20 Santa (Satan?) Claus. And that sounds like a keen a future as any. Blaze mightily, fellow voyagers!

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