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Album Review: Hill Wizard, 'Hill Wizard'

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Hill Wizard, Hill Wizard
  • Hill Wizard, Hill Wizard

(Self-released, digital)

The Hill Wizard stands upon a precipice overlooking the troubled kingdom. His eyes smolder like a dying campfire, and his hands are as rough and jagged as arrowheads. The rogue — known to his confidants as Ben Maddox — dwells in the outskirts of the Green Lands in a far-off realm called Enosburg Falls. And, like a siren's song, a quest of righteousness doth call him forth.

The mystic shamans of the North inform him he must make haste to the Outer Reaches. For there he shall procure the mythic Enchanted Bass, the song of which is foretold to quell the suffering of the masses. In seven wordless chapters, bound forever in a volume known as Hill Wizard, his story is revealed.

It begins with an "Invocation," an atmospheric rumination. Wavering strains of synthesized tones vibrate in unsettling discord, emphasizing the uncertainty ahead. The Wizard releases pulsating beams of pure energy, mixing and merging with the sustained resonance. His journey is afoot.

The adventurer's path leads him yonder as he "Walks the Surface of the Lake." A faint rhythm propels his footsteps on the glassy body of water. Each step he takes is like that of a fantastical, energized lute.

Beyond the Lake, a Crimson Mountain obstructs his path. The scarlet boulders burst apart in rapturous thumps as he "Moves the Red Rocks" to clear a way through. Avian allies swirl around him, threading their bright chirps and low hums together in fluttering waves as they pass by.

Utilizing an ice spell, he "Freezes the Atlantic River" to cross its glassy veneer. Fissures split and reverberate as he treads its expanse.

As he "Travels at Night Listening for the Underground River" that shall lead him toward the Enchanted Bass, he maintains a quiet resolve. All around him, nocturnal creatures emit prolonged growls like that of stringed instruments. The Wizard tiptoes past.

Now, only one thing stands between our hero and the Enchanted Bass: the Ancient Rock. But stronger forces than he's seen thus far assail him with savage licks as he approaches the elder stone. Trudging through with rhythmic precision and a low growl, he "Touches the Ancient Rock and Barely Survives."

At long last, he arrives at his journey's end. Sounds of celestial jubilation penetrate the ether and surround him as he "Plays the Enchanted Bass." It emits celebratory tones that spread out across the hills and dales, aligning the realm once again in harmonious bliss.

His quest complete, the Hill Wizard returns to this perch, satisfied in his adventures. Perhaps he shall one day be called upon again. For the realm is prone to tribulations, and the Hill Wizard brings light to the darkness.

Hill Wizard is available at hillwizard.bandcamp.com.

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