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King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard – PetroDragonic Apocalypse; or, Dawn of Eternal Night: An Annihilation of Planet Earth and the Beginning of Merciless Damnation Review

Powerful title that is, King Gizzard. Helps with the word count. Also helps to shorten PetroDragonic Apocalypse; or, Dawn of Eternal Night: An Annihilation of Planet Earth and the Beginning of Merciless Damnation to just its first two words. Wonderfully intended and digging deep into some lizard-like roots, PetroDragonic Apocalypse is an expectedly impressive rock titan. Beastly, thrashy tracks of speedy tone manage to rip through, rather easily, the old hands of fantasy-led rock to pieces. Step aside Jethro Tull, your Nordic rock simplicities are no match for a terrifying guitar solo on opener Motor Spirit. The equivalent of handing a Victorian child an iPad. Watch their face melt in horror at the future. King Gizzard dive deep into occult tones and cult-like rhythm on a career-defining record.  

Flutters of psychedelic influence come through, padded throat singing as the percussion rises and rises through Motor Spirit, like a bullfrog groaning under a sick collection of rewarding, rousing riffs. King Gizzard has no trouble gliding through the subgenres of rock, transcending each one as they blur droner percussion with thrashy, speed intensities. Get a feel for the next steps of King Gizzard, or rather a brief flash of this before they push on and broaden their horizons once more on the next album which is, given their track record, surely right around the corner. Supercell feels a little flatter when pushed up alongside Motor Spirit and Converge but is a nice bridge between the two. Hefty, lengthy tracks lend themselves to the sweat-induced push from a repetition of the title and playing style.  

Converge has a drumming pattern which surely instigates a bout of carpel tunnel syndrome. King Gizzard finds the fine line between impressive instrumental form and needed, intense creations which elevate them above their peers, contemporary and historic. Should this be any surprise? Not particularly, and the thematic draws which come through in the later moments, particularly the two singles, see King Gizzard push the boat out into the arcane and divine monsters which inspired so many bands. Now reductive throwbacks but done with genuine effect as King Gizzard pool their fantasy-inspired elements. Is the occult styling just the next step from the constant skulls and blues influences? No, not really. It feels genuine rather than a costume. See the bleed from Converge into Witchcraft and hear the difference. 

Give the fans what they want. More lizards. More wizards. King Gizzard do just that with PetroDragonic Apocalypse, another intense and heavy setlist of metal magic which pairs them once more with integral album cover artist Jason Galea. He is as much a mood-setter for King Gizzard records now as the band are. Industrial tremors and the polluted, fiery skies are brought about by Flamethrower, a slick instrumental powerhouse. The latter half of the nine-minute epic is much more intense and creative than its first few minutes. King Gizzard show they excel at the long-form values of thrash rock and bring through gothic charms in small doses to start toying around with new stretches of their gifted musical intensity. A high point for the band, and, presumably, another is already on the horizon.  

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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