Released: 2013, Massacre
Reviewer: Ilias Pap (Greece)
The reaper walks down a path that is paved with dead bodies. This is the depiction of the fact that legendary German epic/power metal band is back with its tenth album TRAIL OF DEATH. The secret ingredient on the albums of their heyday over 20 years ago was the underground and well-made songwriting. Despite the change that heavy metal was came through all these years and the spawn of new metal genres and stuff, there were some bands like Anvil, Wizard and other good metal acts that kept high the flag of true metal spirit.
Songs like ‘Dragon’s Death’ and ‘Hall of Odin’ were good for their previous albums, but this time it seems like almost everything has a quick tempo and lots of pounding riffs, including ‘Black Death’ which seems as if it may have some manila Road and Manowar influence, particularly on the verses and lead guitars.
If that last but sounded nostalgic, I guess that’s because Wizard puts me in that mood. It’s simple, uncomplicated, awesome music that harks back to a simpler time. And Wizard pull it off masterfully. It’s music about rocking out, riding motorcycles, checking out hot chicks, casting off those shackles, and so on. Oh, yeah, and pirates, too. You don’t need to follow along with the lyrics or map out the twists and turns in the songs, because it’s just straight-ahead, feel-good, hard-rockin stuff that doesn’t require much thought or analysis. Just Rock on! You can crank up TRAIL OF DEATH roll down the windows, feel the wind blow through what’s left of your hair, and just let your mind go.
To understand completely what Wizard’s new album is all about; perhaps the best way to encapsulate it is to note that they recently went to some places and venues playing a number of dates opening for Grave Digger. It’s difficult to imagine a band more ideally predisposed to open for those iconic acts than Wizard. Judging by the strength of these tunes, I will wager that Wizard managed to hold their own every single night of that tour too, and that’s high praise. You wouldn’t think it would work, but everything on TRAIL OF DEATH fits together beautifully, just like it did in 1983, when we were all just metalheads, without all the subdivisions and classifications that separate us from each other today.