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Wo Fat


Tearing through the speakers like a swamp monster summoned from some dark cosmic
morass, Texas riffmasters Wo Fat unapologetically blast out a southern fried, bluesinfused
version of Psychedelic Doom, conjuring up visions of hoodoo shacks, prowling
undead, hell hounds at the crossroads, Lovecraftian cultists and ghouls, and worlds
beyond where the riff reigns almighty.
Wo Fat rose from the deep and began their psyche-doom-adelic quest circa 2003 when
guitarist Kent Stump formed the band with drummer Michael Walter and bassist Tim
Wilson. Their goal was to create a music that is crushingly heavy, but that stays within
the paradigm forged by Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix,
ZZ Top and the other 70's greats. A music that allows for improvisational freedom,
extensive jamming and interplay between the three members yet that, at the same time,
allows them to crank out monolithic, fuzzed out, downtuned riffs, all the while staying
true to the haunting blues that wail and moan deep within their souls.
Their 2006 release, “The Gathering Dark,” which was the first documented, hazy, smokefilled
trip in their ongoing Riff Quest, gave us the blueprint that they would expand upon
in later albums. This blueprint was a mixture of dark, Mississippi Hill Country blues,
extended acid guitar freakouts and heavier-than-Led, Sabbath-style riffing. Wo Fat took
things up a notch with their next album, “Psychedelonaut”(2009) and again with 2011’s
“Noche del Chupacabra,” continuing to offer up even weightier and more crushing
riffage coupled with moments of spaced out trippiness. Both of these albums garnered
much critical acclaim and helped to establish them as an up and coming force to be
reckoned with in the Stoner/Doom world, with “Noche del Chupacabra” landing on a
number of Top Albums of 2011 lists.
Now, Wo Fat has joined the Small Stone roster and, after another psychedelic journey to
the hoodoo shack, is offering up a new epic album – “The Black Code” - five hefty slabs
of classic Wo Fat analog fuzz, but this time, with a more sci fi related motif, full of
cyber-visions of evil code, alien artifacts, doors to alternate dimensions and premonitions
of digital horror. Musically, Wo Fat is continuing further down the road of melding
structured, groove-laden riffing with free-wheeling open improvisation, relying on heavy
interaction and communication between the three musicians to take the music to new
heights of sonic heaviness. And not just a one dimensional heaviness. Heaviness in
groove, sound and feel as well as riff. This is not cold, sterile, machine-like metal. This
is organic, earthy metal that is full of that elusive, deep, “way back yonder” funk that is
so often the missing ingredient in this digital age in which we live. No synthetic designer
pharmaceutical here, but a pure, expertly cultivated, homegrown strain of Texas riffage.