Released: 2003, LMP
I grabbed the debut Wizard when it came out and was not super impressed. It was great but not fantastic. I felt with Head of The Deceiver they had fully turned the corner and now with album number five (already!) they are a major force. In case you are not sure, there are half a dozen bands with some variation on the word ‘wizard’ but these warriors of steel are the German true metal version.
Odin is a concept album about the big man himself, Odin, Norse God of Gods. It is nice to see the band expand their lyrical focus slightly after four albums of enjoyable but admittedly one-dimensional lyrical stances about the power and glory of heavy metal. However, I admire such dedication to the art but a change of pace is nice once in a while.
The cover is gorgeous, a rendering of Odin (eyepatch and all) on a throne with his spear, Ravens, wolves and a couple of mean looking monsters looming from behind. Oddly enough I don’t think there has ever been a full concept album about Odin. Norse mythology is extremely common in metal but this is a first I believe. Who says true power metal can’t be original?
Wizard delivers the metallic goods with eleven cuts and about one hour of ball-breaking power metal. Anthem after anthem of awesome songs! The choruses are so catchy, the melodies so infectious that you will be banging your head in no time. The guitars are just crushing and Sven’s voice has never sounded so powerful. I think these performances have been taken to the next level, no doubt that uber-producer Piet Sielck had no small part in wrenching the best from these battle-hardened warriors.
Stand out tracks are the merciless ‘Dark God’ and the punishing ‘Thor’s Hammer’ with it’s sing along chorus about battling giants! The songs are upfront, no frills heavy metal. Great solos, strong riffs, thunderous drums…power all the way. They don’t rely on double-kicks all the time nor do they shred into the stratosphere, just heads down chugging mid-pace anthems.
This CD will have you saying, “Head of the Who?” in no time flat. Another victory for true metal. Fans will be pleased to know that Limb is re-releasing the rare ‘Bound By Metal’ this year as well. For more details visit http://www.limb-music.de