Come My Fanatics – A Journey Into The World of Electric Wizard – Dan Franklin (White Rabbit)

Those familiar with Dorset’s seminal Doomsters Electric Wizard will no doubt be aware of their taciturn, some might say outright hostile, demeanour to the press and indeed the world in general; having the slogan “legalise drugs and murder” kinda confirms their nihilistic tendencies.

With this in mind, it would appear challenging, to say the least, to write a biography of the band; author Dan Franklin has sidestepped this dilemma by instead seeking out the inspirations and motivations behind the Wizard and their influential canon of work.

That said Franklin does delve into the personal backgrounds and histories of the band in particular the origins of founding member/guitarist/vocalist Jus Oborn in Wimborne and current guitarist/keyboard player Liz Buckingham in New York; with particular emphasis on the historical, cultural and geographical influences of their birthplaces on the sound, lyrics and aesthetics of the band. 

It’s a broad ranging tome that covers topics including the literary works of Robert Howard and HP Lovecraft, the philosophical Satanism of Anton Le Vey, the exploitation movies of Franco, Fulci and Martino, the horror films of Wes Craven and Tobe Hooper and the biker B movies of Michael Levasque and Jorge Grau. In fact, the musical influences of the band is the area least explored in the book, perhaps confirming the bands intention not to emulate any previous Heavy Metal band. 

The book runs in chronological order starting with Oborns formative years in Dorset and early forays into music with Lord of Putrefaction/Thy Grief Eternal/Eternal in the early 90s and includes the bands many brushes with the local constabulary (not unsurprisingly mostly due to drug-related activities, including the theft of a gravestone from a local parish church!) through to the bands triumphant return to Londons’ Desertfest in 2022; along the way detailing the bands 17 releases (with a suitably punctilious breakdown of the records most salient tracks and a thorough analysis of the cover art). Franklin covers the numerous lineup changes (and the reasons behind them) and how these personnel shuffles altered, and on occasion hampered, the band’s sound, stability, and progress. 

The breadth of Franklin’s analysis is impressive – the list of sources and recommended works is as extensive as any you’ll find in a political or historical body of work, and he writes in and engaging style interspersed with soundbites from interviews the band have given to amongst others Terrorizor, Decibel, Kerrang, Metal Hammer, Serpent Eve and rather bizarrely Psychology Today. Unfortunately despite having direct access to the band there’s very little new interview material on offer.

Full marks to Franklin for attempting such a difficult task and pulling it off with a thoroughly researched and well-written book. It’s as close as I think anyone will get to understanding the motivations and philosophy behind this most esoteric of Metal bands.  Ian Pickens


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