Home » breaking latest news The Wizards + Wreck Totem in Bilbao (2024)

breaking latest news The Wizards + Wreck Totem in Bilbao (2024)

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breaking latest news The Wizards + Wreck Totem in Bilbao (2024)

It is true that they had never left, but we already missed the energy, the freshness and the power that the Biscayan group brings us. The Wizards. After a 2020 that cut any type of progression in the bud (in a clear upward, almost vertical line, since its creation in 2013) and a 2022 in which they had to cancel an interesting European tour of eleven dates in Germany, Italy and France, the The quintet spent 2023 shaping their fourth full-length album.

And “The Exit Garden” which was released on March 22, once again, through the German label High Roller Records. Recorded at Slippery Studio (Medina de Pomar) in July 2023; mixed by Mario Gutiérrez and Alberto Macías at Estudios Pan Pot; and mastered by Víctor García at Ultramarinos Mastering, has once again brought the specialized critics into agreement with a spectacular work, just as my namesake Sergio Iglesias gutted us in this same publication.

But if there is something that surpasses the quality of The Wizards in the studio is his overwhelming live show, so we couldn’t miss the event, which also served to welcome and introduce his new offspring to society. For such an important occasion they had the Biscayan power trio Wreck Totem, which offers a more stoner proposal than the main combo of the evening without leaving aside the most hard rock, heavy metal and even funky side.

Without it serving as precedent, Wreck Totem It began its unloading with British punctuality (which this editor did not have, who arrived two minutes late) in the upper space of Santana 27. Of course, forced by circumstances, since at midnight the place was reserved for the “ icon of Colombian romantic vallenato”, Hebert Vargas. Nothing to do with our objective, of course, although it was impressive to see at the exit the number of people waiting in two lines, one on each side of the entrance to the room. Seeing is believing.

The Bilbao combo performed six cuts, all included in their so far only full-length “A curse for the living” (02/28/2020), except for “Space traveler”, which was part of their debut EP from 2016. With a very technical style that delighted the hundreds of people who attended the recital, highlighting the finesse and taste of Moisés Molina on the guitar; the forcefulness and technique of Lander Cadenas with the drums; and the class and passion of Julen de la Vega (wearing a The Wizards t-shirt, by the way) on the four strings.

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Perhaps the vocal performance is the aspect to improve in the band, despite the good work of Lander and Julen in the choirs, although overshadowed as a whole by the improvable sound (and lighting, by the way) of the venue. It is also true that it is not a very serious deficit, especially if we consider the importance that riffs, melodies, solos and other instrumental parts acquire in their live performance. The original themes are lengthened naturally and achieve intense atmospheres, lysergic in some cases, that evolve in crescendo until reaching a quite accomplished ecstasy.

Two more notes regarding the performance of Wreck Totem. During “Beyond the nomad trail” and “Renegade prophet”, a track with which the trio closed their show, a kind of bird appeared on stage with the appearance of coming from some pre-Hispanic culture to dance to the sound of the chords. of these guys. Curious and fun, although perhaps I missed that he provided a little more quality content with his intervention.

And finally, it should be noted that the performance of Moi, Lander and Julen is not limited to rock, heavy metal and stoner, but rather their seventies style is broader and sometimes encompasses quasi-jazz rhythms or other more danceable ones that are reminiscent of harmonies. Caribbean or Brazilian. In short, fifty minutes that left us with a good taste in our mouths.

Of course, what was yet to come was a different story. It’s hard to know who gives themselves more at a concert. The Wizards, whether the audience in the first rows or the musicians in front. Ian Mason takes all the spotlights, flashes and mentions thanks to that overwhelming personality on stage. The word frontman falls short and scenic animal is a more faithful description of reality. He exudes charisma and transmits energy and passion.

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But we would be doing ourselves a disservice if we just stayed there. Away from the spotlight (on this occasion, as is) George Dee and Phil The Pain (guitars and backing vocals), Baraka Boy (bass) and Dave O. Spare (drums) also hit the mark, literally. Or each note in its place and from its place, rather. Professionalism at its finest.

The first two songs, also from the new album, “The exit garden” and “Full moon in Scorpio”, this one more contained, went in with a knife. The title of the second is curious, which it shares with the band’s second effort published in 2017 (in three weeks it will turn seven years old). It reminded me of Queen, who did the same with “Sheer heart attack”.

“Gabon Donostia. It’s the first time we play here. We don’t like this city. Neither does Bilbao. Let’s go back to the times when glasses were not raised.” Triumphant entrance to have an audience that was already committed beforehand at their feet. They revisited their first album with “Deal with the witch” in a very Danzig vibe, so much to the band’s taste, and to which they dedicated a two-song tribute in 2017.

The riff of “Oniros”, dark and danceable in equal parts and included in their new album, gave way to the more punishing “The Curse of Hecate”, which was also part of their first reference (ignoring the EP “Plagues”). With the new “Holy mountain mind” and “Crawling nights” the revs were lowered a little to shoot them up again with the more rocking “Halftones to eternity (“Full moon in Scorpio”).

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What The Wizards take no prisoners is the law and it was more than clear with the, initially, mid-tempo “Equinox of fire”, which picks up speed as the end arrives. If at this point someone had not been captivated by the quintet’s spells, there was nothing to do. “Calliope (cosmic revelations)” (“Full moon in Scorpio”), one of the band’s greatest hits, preceded the final fireworks composed by the very extensive “VOID (Visions of inner death), the only cut from their previous reference, “Rise of the serpent” (2018), and “Stardust”, another of the legendary anthems that “Full moon in Scorpio” left by the way.

And, of course, songs like “Cimmerian lard”, “Who are you, Mr. Gurdjieff?” or “Age of man”, among others. But the objective was to publicize the new work and meet again with a fan base eager for more encounters with the Bilbao sorcerers. The presentation tour will continue in Barcelona (05/04), León (05/17), Ourense (05/18), Santurtzi (06/07, within the Kabiefest, free) and Madrid (06/15). Don’t say you weren’t warned.

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