A new Rob Zombie album is something of an event. From wild and raucous music videos to humorous and often lengthy song names, he always brings something that makes people talk. And with The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, not a whole lot has changed in that regard. We got a crazy NSFW video for “Everybody’s Fucking in a U.F.O.” and one example of a track title with an unnecessarily long name is “In the Age of the Consecrated Vampire We All Get High”, which even on YouTube is simply shrunk down to “We All Get High”.
So how does Electric Warlock Acid Witch stack up against Zombie’s previous albums? Well, fans of his music are going to love it, that’s for sure. But there might be a lingering feeling of “What if…”.
Opening with “The Last of the Demons”, the album immediately makes it clear that fans of Zombie’s style are going to get what they want. Packed with classic movie samples, bubbling electronics and a boisterous hard rock crunch, it’s the perfect opener. Zombie sounds huge and the effects on his voice make him sound like the “Electric Warlock Acid Witch” in the flesh.
“Satanic Suicide! The Killer Rocks On!” has a swagger and a badass attitude that, for some odd reason, makes me think of a line of leather clad bikers riding around and ruling the highways. However, there are soft acoustic moments with light Gregorian chant hovering the background that give this track something special. With “Everybody’s Fucking in a U.F.O.”, I can’t help but recognize the similarities with this song’s style and Primus, as it’s right on the nose. However, it’s definitely a Rob Zombie take on Primus, so if you love both, you’re gonna love this song.
Meanwhile, “Medication for the Melancholy” stands out with its own sound, even though it fits into the greater Rob Zombie style. Definitely one of the tracks I found myself returning to with great frequency. And then it’s followed by “In the Age of the Consecrated Vampire We All Get High”, which is a total throwback to the early Rob Zombie days.
“Wurdalak”, which is the longest track by far (over double the length of nearly every other song), is tonally very different from the rest of the album. Acting like a hefty slab of sludge/doom metal, it ends with a surprisingly beautiful piano coda.
The production on the album is stellar. It’s obvious that every song was given tons of love and attention, which means there is always something new to hear and appreciate. Additionally, the bite-size song length ensures that these songs get straight to the point without any fucking around.
But here is where I address the “conflicted” aspect of my headline. While I really enjoy this album, I feel like Rob Zombie needs to try something new and embrace his love of funk entirely. It’s obvious throughout the years that Zombie has a passion for classic rock and funk, which he shows by using them as strong influences on his music (and films, but that’s another story…). Remember his cover of Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re An American Band”?
But with how imaginative and creative Zombie is, he has yet to really reinvent his own musical endeavors, which is where the conflict comes in. By using those influences, Zombie is paying homage while also creating something unique and original. The funk elements sound desperate to break free, burst forth, and infect everyone around. But it feels like those influences are almost restrained and held back in favor of playing it safe by sticking to his rock/metal roots.
It’s not farfetched at all to say that his work is incredibly consistent and each album is generally very well received. But they don’t bring anything new to the table. For example, while promoting the album, Zombie stated that it, “…is seriously our heaviest most f**ked up musical monster to date.” But we’ve heard a ton of heaviness over the years. And, to be honest, nothing on Electric Warlock Acid Witch comes close to the heaviness that was and still is “Superbeast”. So why even try for that?
The Final Word: The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser is another incredibly solid and highly enjoyable album from Rob Zombie. It’s simply that I’ve heard it all before and I wanted something new.