By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
Named after a villain on the old school version of the television program Hawaii Five-O, this trio of local headbangers have been creating a highly original mixture of psychedelia and metal for the better part of five years.
Noche del Chupacabra is Wo Fat's third effort; and even though it contains just five songs, the album offers numerous joys for fans of Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer and The Melvins. Songs like "Bayou JuJu" and "Descent into the Maelstrom" are lengthy excursions of old-school metal that harken back to a time when the riff was as important as the image. The beefy guitar line that propels "Maelstrom" is highly reminiscent of Nugent's "Stranglehold" and the overall effect is just as hypnotizing.
Guitarist and vocalist Ken Stump, bassist Tim Wilson and drummer Michael Walter turn each of the five songs on Chupacabra into epic romps, with the 15-minute title cut proving especially satisfying. This isn't some metal band that just jams its way to oblivion. These are well thought-out compositions that waste nary a note or beat.
Wo Fat makes heavy music for heavy times, music that knows metal's history and is also unafraid of throwing in some needed horror-movie humor.