Wo Fat – Live Juju (at Freak Valley and Beyond)

Rating

From Made in Japan to Double Live Gonzo, not to mention those supposed Knights in Satan’s Service, the double live album has historically been a heavy-rock staple, albeit one that’s seemingly gone extinct. But with vinyl’s resurgence combined with doom’s patience-testing album lengths, ’twas only a matter of time before we saw its return. And Wo Fat, a band that once penned a 15-minute ode to the Chupacabra, seems like just the outfit to do it!

It’s worth noting that Live Juju actually captures two live sets, instead of just one. The first five tracks are taken from their 2014 appearance at Germany’s Freak Valley Fest, while the remaining four were recorded from a local gig at the Double Wide in Dallas. Either way, prepare to strap in for over 80 minutes of riffs.

Curiously enough, there are two tunes that appear on here twice, “The Black Code” and “Read the Omens.” The first iteration follows an introduction in German (sounds like they’re saying “Welcome to the Freak Valley Festival”) before the first wah-laden riff hits you. The German set sounds professionally recorded (or very well remastered), with whisky-soaked vocals clearly cutting through the mix. Set-closing number “Sleep of the Black Lotus” will definitely get yer head noddin’, ending the first LP on a high note with some extended instrumental jams.

They play things a little more slow ‘n loose in Dallas, with three of the four cuts extending past the 10-minute mark, likely the benefit of a less-stringent set time. There’s also a bit of a grittier, groovier vibe to the proceedings—the riffs sound even beefier down in Texas. “Of Smoke and Fog” is an 11-minute heavy rifforama, before the rocky, rugged grooves of “There’s Something Sinister in the Wind” end things on an unsettling note. These guys actually headlined a 4/20 heavy rock fest in Calgary last year, but if y’all missed it (like I did), this record is probably the next best thing.

www.wofat.net

www.facebook.com/wofatriffage

wofat.bandcamp.com

Gruesome Greg

Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for Hellbound.ca.

7.5 Rating