The metal spectrum can expand as much as it likes. The real, grubby thing isn't going anywhere, at least not while REBEL WIZARD has breath in his body. "Magickal Mystical Indifference" is a nasty, filthy and brutish record, but its most significant achievement is that it feels truly celebratory, as the mysterious NKSV once again harnesses the spirit of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal and pumps it full of necro steroids while cackling maniacally at the moon. More importantly, these songs never slip into self-absorbed nostalgia for an age not directly experienced: whatever it is that the Australian does to conjure this warped hybrid, it continues to sound ferociously original, deviating ever so slightly from any recognized norm and generating a genuinely unhinged atmosphere as a result.
Opening instrumental "heavy negative wizard metal in-fucking-excelsis" should have struggled to live up to its magnificent title, but it doesn't. It's two minutes of pure adrenalin and one of the most thrilling starts to an album this year. It's followed by "raiseth up all those that be bowed down", which starts with a rush of UFO and DEF LEPPARD vibes before screeching off at full pelt into some grotesque speed metal conflagration. "Dance of the duchess in the pale pink light" is another immaculate metal anthem, still firmly rooted in malevolent mulch but blessed with innumerable hooks and a real sense of momentum.
As much as REBEL WIZARD deigns to appear demented and lost to the void, there is a sharpness to the songwriting here. Again, "urination of vapidity on consciousness" is saddled with a title that definitely implies sardonic irreverence, but it's a truly astonishing 90 seconds of bestial fury that plainly comes straight from the (presumably blackened) heart. The epic, closing title track is the most thunderous of the lot, with a thick SABBATH-ian core and a dizzying sprint to the finish that could be IRON MAIDEN in their prime, were it not for the coagulated grimness of the guitar tones and the muddy skull-clubbing of the drums.
Quite what any of it means remains open to debate, but when it comes to making monstrous but meticulous heavy metal with real fire in its belly, REBEL WIZARD have stepped up and delivered another feast of deeply twisted realness.