WIZARD - Fallen Kings
July 19, 2017, a year ago
Disappointed by the announcement from Upstate New York, about a certain band's retirement? Fear not! “Once we were brothers, fighting for steel” are the initial words uttered, just seconds after hitting play, then launching into a spirited Kings Of Metal gallop: riffing guitar, prominent bass and twin kick drums. Yes, the opening “Liar And Betrayer” could be a Joey DeMaio construct. There's a little bit of everything metallic within the 11th album by long running German outfit (not to be confused with the other, alternate/awkwardly spelled “wizard”): Manowar, Judas Priest, countrymen Trance, even king Diamond falsetto. What's not to like? Lyrically, while coached in a historical/medieval context, the bond of the metal community is the theme, be it “Live Your Life”, We Are The Masses”, the acoustic ending “Brothers In Spirit”, “Father To Son”, “Let Us Unite”, etc.
An uncomfortable falsetto creeps into the lone bass begun “We Are The Masses”. A mid-tempo number to sit around, sing along and not worry about spilling your beer. By contrast, “Live Your Life” is a rollicking, fist thruster, destined to slosh much of the Teutonic golden beverage onto the ground. It's not the only time the highest register is employed, also evident (as a backing vox) on speedy, double bass driven “White Wolf”, “Wizard Until The End” and “Let Us Unite”, another racer. Placed next-to-last in the running order, “We Are Ready For Metal” (one of two digi-pak bonuses) seems like preaching to the choir. Have already listened to ten tunes, more than ready for metal.