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While many self-ascribed, bespoke genre labels ring a little bit hollow, Rebel Wizard's chosen descriptor "heavy negative wizard metal" is worthwhile -- first of all, nobody else sounds like Rebel Wizard, and secondly, I wouldn't know what else to call it without serious hyphen abuse. Fusing the chaotic extremes of black metal and thrash metal to the guitar heroics and swagger of traditional heavy metal, it's righteous, compelling, and primal at the same time. Poised to release his third full-length Magickal Mystical Indifference, the mysterious Australian sorcerer behind Rebel Wizard ventures into new lands: damp, murky forests teeming with spiritual power (and riffs).

We're streaming the first single "Not Rain but the Wizard's Tears" now, complete with a music video that's got some serious quarantine mood to it.

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Despite the angry, hiss-like guitar tones that create it, a misty ambience condenses and puddles in this track as if the deluge the title references has seeped into the audio itself. It's a slow track, certainly, shored up by a thundering backbeat, but the peaks of the song carry a sorrowful intensity that doesn't need speed muddling its message.

To be honest, Rebel Wizard isn't something I can fully describe by analyzing the musical elements -- the sounds, structures and compositions across songs can vary wildly. The passion behind the project most accurately defines it, and some aspects are obvious: a love of crafting obscenely tasty riffs and licks, a reverence for heavy metal's past, and dedication to the (extremely entertaining) aesthetic. But beyond all that, Rebel Wizard seems to have a more conceptual purpose: casting off labels, rejecting long-held tenets of various subgenres, and generally pushing heavy metal into strange borderlands where our usual expectations don't apply.

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Magickal Mystical Indifference will release July 10th via Prosthetic Records.

Regarding "Not Rain but the Wizard's Tears," project mastermind NKSV says:

You might remember the day last year where upon the entire globe was drenched in non-stop rain. Well, let us reveal the truth of that down pour. It was on that day the wizard held his cat as she was injected with the no more. So it was not rain but the wizards tears. The song did then follow.

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