Saturday 10 July 2021

Acid Magus - Wyrd Syster (Album Review)

Release Date: July 30th 2021. Record Label: Mongrel Records. Format: DD

Wyrd Syster- Tracklisting

1. Wyrd Syster

2. Rituals

3. Conscientious Pugilist

4. Virgo

5. She Is The Night

6. Evil

7. Red Dawn


Keenan Kinnear: guitars

Jarryd Wood: bass guitar

Roelof van Tonder: drums

Christiaan Van Renen: vocals


Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Rockers Acid Magus have become my favourite band that I’ve come across from the South African Hard Rock/Metal scene. As they play my favourite style of Doom Metal and Stoner Rock that weaves different musical elements into their overall heavy sound. Their whole musical jams are super-fresh, tight and positively LOUD. Their debut full length album Wyrd Sister is a stunning mix of different Stoner/Doom based grooves with a Trippy Psychedelic feeling which allows the band to try different things whilst bringing an abundance of heavy action-packed tunes for listeners to familiarize themselves with.

The album is inspired by bands such as SLEEP, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Led Zepp, Monster Magnet, KYUSS and Uncle Acid when things get decidingly Occult Rock when the time calls for it.

Opening song - Wyrd Sister - is an unashamedly and gloriously hip “love-letter” to 90s style Stoner Metal overflowing with epic Doom/Grunge based passages with the band showing a lot of Noise Rock distortion and Punk Rock methodology within this song. It’s the perfect start to open the album with. Alway moving forward whilst remaining true to the “ROOTS” of Doom/Stoner Metal.

Second song - Rituals - is a seven minute plus song with Acid Magus playing a hybrid Desert Rock/Doom/Grunge style movement that evokes early memories of Yawning Man and KYUSS. The song is purely instrumental for the first few moments and Acid Magus provide a solid psychedelic rhythm to build their upcoming Doom/Stoner Metal grooves with. The psychedelic melodies are superbly played and move along at a nice steady rhythm that allows you to soak everything in.

Third song - Conscientious Pugilist - is one of the most progressive songs on the album with Acid Magus trying a manner of different ideas and sounds that is perhaps the best track on the album. The song is slow-paced with many different levels of area of Psych Doom and Stoner Rock coming into play with a classic 70s Hard Rock atmosphere being added as well. The lyrics are fantastic and offer an almost “Alternative” feel that does remind me of KYUSS in their prime. The instrumental work is the standout part of the song with excellent distorted guitars with a fresh “Desert Rock” spin.

Fourth song - Virgo - is an almost two minute instrumental song offering a semi-acoustic song that moves between the lighter areas of Doom, Desert Rock and Stoner Rock with a cold Psychedelic flow moving the song to it’s natural conclusion.

The final 3 songs on the album sees Acid Magus become more BRASH, BOLD and even OUTLANDISH whilst still playing some highly original epic Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metal jams that run for an impressive 22 minutes or so. 

She Is The Night, Evil and Red Dawn are perhaps the gloomiest and doomiest parts of the record but still offer that addictive Desert/Stoner Rock sound that appeared mostly on the 1st half of the album. The best tracks here are She Is The Night and Red Dawn with lead vocalist Christiaan laying down some top-notch screams and being influenced highly by Robert Plant in certain places of the record.

Acid Magus have delivered an exciting and fresh spin on the Psych Doom/Stoner Metal album and I’m pretty excited to hear where these guys go next with their musical careers. 

Overall, Wyrd Syster is another album of the year contender and possibly one of the best debut records you’ll hear in 2021. 

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Warren at Plug Music Agency for the promo. Wyrd Syster will be available to buy on DD via Mongrel Records from July 30th 2021.


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