It’s not unoften by any stretch to say that humor really has found a proper home in the over-reaching world of stoner metal along with its typical partner in crime that is doom, but it’s far harder to execute properly than just think of. That being said, it’s even harder to take a style that’s as known for humor and switching the terms while still even maintaining some dark semblance of hilarity that’s baked deeply into all that is laid before. That goes without question, I feel. Even then, though, it’s with their forthcoming work that Shi nails that very concept with seemingly minimal effort.
I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t very convinced that “Basement Wizard” would be a more than worthwhile experience of heaviness and unrelenting energy given both the album’s title and its cover art. Yet, like many times before, I cannot express how pleased I am to be wildly proven wrong to such an impressive degree with what all this album was able to bring forth in its ten tracks with virtually all of them containing the exact right blend of heaviness, intensity, and tropes that grace both attributing styles to make this is very interesting and a dense listen that’s just as rewarding. Though far from anything that I would ever consider close to a true opus of wide acclaim, I’d be incredibly remiss to say that “Basement Wizard” is an album that’s to be passed up by any stretch of the imagination for all that it does and accomplishes which not only brings even further glory to all that stoner and doom can bring forth when brought together, but really shows us that Shi is not a name that’s to be underestimated. The competition is always stiff in these two styles with it taking something quite spectacular to really standout to this degree, and I cannot help but feel compelled in considering “Basement Wizard” as such for all that it does different while still somehow remaining true to a lot of the core ideals that make this sound appealing time after time.
To do something anything like what’s been done here is to really show us what it takes to be an act that is not only worth our time but full attention, and it’s at virtually every turn that Shi provides just such an experience with no less than surprising results. Everything about “Basement Wizard” seems to promise nothing but a time that’s stereotypical at best, but each of these tracks are something to behold by all accounts with very little going on within the record can deserves to be considered anything near something to be missed.
“Basement Wizard” releases on October 15th!
LISTEN to an advanced track from “Basement Wizard” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Shi on Facebook here.