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EP Review: Rebel Wizard – The Warning of One

It’s only been a few months since Prosthetic reissued one-man Australian “Heavy Negative Wizard Metal” outfit Rebel Wizard’s first full-length Triumph of Gloom, but the prolific NKSV is already back with a new digital/cassette-only EP (a rarity for Prosthetic) called The Warning of One. I dug the hell out of Triumph, and on Warning NKSV wisely doesn’t depart all that much from the formula that made that record such a fun listen: lo-fi black metal crossed with super-melodic NWOBHM, spiked with a liberal dose of killer guitar solos and earworm riffs for days. However, he does vary his sound on the EP just enough that it stands on its own rather than simply sound like a retread of his last release.

The biggest difference on The Warning of One is that it sounds much harsher than Triumph of Gloom. On that record, the guitars dominated the mix, making it a much catchier album than it probably had any right to be. The vocals are much more forward this time around, giving it more of a black metal feel. “One I See,” for example, might be the closest he’s come to a straightforward black metal song when recording as Rebel Wizard, and aside from the melodic guitar solos, the other three tracks on the EP have a predominantly black/thrash feel.

When I reviewed the reissue of Triumph for the Vault, my one criticism of the album was that there was a certain sameness to the songwriting that caused the tracks to all blend together after a while. Just like on that album, the songs on The Warning of One are all in a similarly fast tempo, but there seems to be a bit more variety in the riffs and song structures this time around. Or it could be that Rebel Wizard’s sound is just better suited to a shorter release. Either way, The Warning of One is a fun little EP, and I look forward to hearing what Rebel Wizard does next.

The Warning of One will be available on August 18 via Prosthetic Records.

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