Band – Bog Wizard
Album – From The Mire
Country of Origin – USA
Genre – Stoner Doom
Release Date – July 3, 2020
Label – Independent Release
Author – Hayduke X
Several months ago, an unknown-to-me trio of stoner doom maniacs from Ludington, MI reached out to me. As best as I can reconstruct, I totally dropped the ball. I may have given the album a cursory listen, but it didn’t stick. Fast forward a few months to early November. I spent much of Election Day on Twitter discussing what music was appropriate for the day. The same stoner doom trio (obviously Bog Wizard, if you haven’t put that together yet) suggested The Orange Goblin as a fit for the day. I’ll discuss the whys and wherefores of that a little further down. For now, suffice it to say that the band caught my attention again, and more strongly this time. Now, after several weeks of further delays (pandemic years are weird years, alright), I’m finally writing about From The Mire.
It’s fair to say stoner doom is not a top genre for me, which is possibly why it took a long time for me to finally get to this. I find a lot of it pretty boring and generic. Bog Wizard, however, have woven enough other elements into their attack to make them stand out, though to catch them all, you have to pay attention. I’ve been listening to this album a lot since early November, and I continue to find more pieces of the puzzle. Upon the stoner doom framework, the band weave in atmospheric psychedelia, gnarly (and occasionally dissonant) sludge, and even hints of punk rock. Harlen Linke keeps the motor running with rock solid drumming, yet creative and interesting hit selection. Just listen carefully all the way through Swamp Golem, for example. Colby Lowman wields his bass like a battle axe, adding persuasive power to the mix. Ben Lombard knows how to write real riffs, yet also knows when to lay back in a more rhythm guitar attack for the sake of the miry atmosphere. Lombard also handles vocals (and Linke backing vocals) with a dynamic mix of cleans and growls well suited to the style.
Thematically, Bog Wizard mostly write songs about Dungeons and Dragons. As a nerdy guy in my mid-40s, it should come as no surprise that this is a subject near and dear to my heart. (Let me use this moment to throw an invitation out to the guys to guest on my current campaign, if they are so inclined). The world they dredge up is dark and murky, hateful and dangerous, and, of course, full of adventure. The exception to this is the song The Orange Goblin, which serves as political commentary about a certain politician on the national stage. I’ll leave you to look up the lyrics and determine their exact take, but I will say I love the track (and many of you probably know what that suggests).
Ultimately, From The Mire is an album not to be slept on. If taken seriously, it will take you on a dark journey into the recesses of your imagination. Don’t make the mistake I did the first time around and treat it like background music. Give it the time and focus it deserves. The album is tight, composed with purpose, and engaging throughout. I fully recommend you dive deep into the Mire.
Biography: Hayduke X has been writing for MoshPitNation since June of 2016. Prior to joining the MoshPitNation team, Hayduke published reviews on his own blog Rage and Frustration. In addition, he has DJ’ed an online metal radio show of the same name as his blog, written for TOmetal.com, done interviews for Metal Rules, and collaborated with The Art of B Productions to create video interviews with a wide variety of bands.