Released: 2001, Limb Music Products / SPV
When I read this band’s bio and it said this was their FOURTH album since their formation in 1989 I was a bit stumped. This band hasn’t previously been covered in the ‘zines I read, nor has their earlier releases been on local CD shelves or sent our way in the past six years of reviewing. Since I haven’t heard of this band I’m willing to bet that the many of you reading this have no clue about them either, so of course some background info on them would be nice! Wizard hail from the land of metal – Germany. So it should come as no surprise that they play what people refer to as “true” metal. Their lyrics alone tell the tale of their devotion and belief in metal. Corny to some, sometimes overdone, but still nothing I’m going to knock because after all METAL RULES!! The band is comprised of Sven D ´Anna (vocals), Michael Maass (guitars), Volker Leson (bass) and drummer Snoppi Denn.
After a silly “Jabba the hut” sounding spoken intro entitled “Evitum Okol” in slams the godly double kicks with “Magic Potion” and I know right away that I’m to like this album. This offers absolutely nothing new or nothing that I haven’t already enjoyed from bands like Metalium, Angel Dust, Sacred Steel, Lost Horizon or Rage. So yes, this is true metal and it’s more “rawer” sounding then the melodic side of power metal. Wizard has none of the symphonic elements, no choirs, no ballads and minimal grandiose sing along choruses. So these are not the elements you will find here. You will find some speed metal overtones and in terms of backing vocals the band opts instead for group chants a la classic Accept styled group backing vocals. You will hear double kicks a plenty, fast ripping guitars, clean yet aggressive vocals and great production by Uwe Lullis who is the former guitarist for Grave Digger (another band who probably were an influence for Wizard!). Fans of the aforementioned bands will most likely love Wizard. If you are only a casual fan of those bands then perhaps this is not going to do a lot for you because like I mentioned it does suffer in places form the “heard it before” syndrome. In places on the album I do get excited with such tracks as “Magic Potion” which easily takes the gold for the best track on here!!! There is also “Head of The Deceiver” and “Defenders of Metal” (kind of with a Manowar feel thanks to the “Brothers of Metal” styled lyrics). There are actually no “horrible” tracks on here. Some songs do play through and I’m left without a lasting impression. I think I will need to play the CD several more times for it to sink in….or perhaps I’ll just stick on the new Lost Horizon CD again and lose my mind some more hehe! In any case, Wizard is a band for fans that like their metal true even if it’s not altogether new.
More information on this promising band can be found at http://www.mazurpr.com/wizard.html