Blackwitch Pudding at Club 66

"We are 600-year-old wizards," begins Space Wizard, guitarist and vocalist for Portland doom metal band Blackwitch Pudding. "We were formed by our mother, the Blackwitch after a seance with the devil. The result of that seance were three piles of pudding, which we grew from. Eventually, we learned to rock the house."

That's the concept adopted by the band, which, in addition to Space Wizard, includes Lizard Wizard on bass and vocals, and Wizard Wizard on drums. While the concept behind the band may sound absurd, it comes from a dedication to their craft. The idea came while Space Wizard and Wizard Wizard were playing together in bands before Blackwitch Pudding. On stage in jeans and T-shirts, the pair would see other bands doing extra work to build a stage show when they perform, rather than just a set list. Inspired, they formed Blackwitch Pudding, ditched the jeans and T-shirts, and now take to the stage shrouded in fog and robes fitting of their wizard personas.

"We like the anonymity of the concept. It adds an air of mystery that goes well with the music," Space Wizard says. "We take a rock show that belongs in an arena or theater, then we dial it in to be able to provide the same epic experience in a smaller club setting."

Audiences will be able to experience the spectacle at 9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, at Club 66, 1951 Ashland St., Ashland. There is a $5 cover.

In August, the trio released its debut album, "Taste the Pudding," which it self-produced and self-released. The album was engineered by Mike Moore at Portland's Toadhouse Studios.

"We're really good friends with Adam Pike (who owns Toadhouse) from working with him in other bands," Space Wizard says. "He suggested we use Mike to engineer the album, and we clicked. Everything just came naturally."

"Taste the Pudding" also was mixed by famed heavy metal producer Billy Anderson, whose more than 25-year resume boasts releases from bands such as High on Fire, Neurosis and Agalloch.

The album furthers the band's concept, telling stories of what Space Wizard describes as party wizards who roam the land having adventures.

"We take the role of the elders telling these epic tales around the fire for future generations to know," Space Wizard says. "We all take part in the songwriting process. Sometimes, you're the glue, taking riffs and figuring out how to string them together to form the song. Other times, you have a big chunk of a song, and everyone builds upon that."

The songs on "Taste the Pudding" can best be described as massive. "Swamp Gas of the Nevermizer" features Space Wizard churning out thick, overdriven guitar riffs that soar over the rumbling bass of Lizard Wizard and driving drums of Wizard Wizard. "Motre'D" has a laborous trudge reminiscent of songs such as "Black Sabbath," leaving listeners waiting in anticipation of each drum hit and chord change.

The band is touring the West Coast on its Winter Pudding tour, and audiences are taking notice when the wizards come to town.

"We're getting a great reception everywhere," Space Wizard says. "People hear the name, check us out and start coming specifically to see us. There could be 10 people in the room, but when they're all there to see you, that's amazing. I'm sure that there are blank stares coming from someone, somewhere, but we're really only seeing the wizard fanatics rocking out in the front."

With the anonymous stage personas and robes, it is not too great of a leap to draw comparison's to Ghost B.C., a Swedish heavy metal band whose singer goes by the name of Papa Emeritus II, and the band members are known only as Nameless Ghouls.

"You could say that we want to be the United States' answer to Ghost (B.C.)," Space Wizard says. "Word gets around that we put in that extra effort, and we are not to be missed."

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