Demons and Wizards - self-titled - reviewed by: Nailer
1. Rites of Passage (intro) 2. Heaven Denies 3. Poor Man's Crusade 4. Fiddler on the Green 5. Blood on My Hands 6. Path of Glory 7. Winter of Souls 8. The Whistler 9. Tear Down the Wall 10. Gallows Pole 11. My Last Sunrise 12. Chant (outro) =================== 13. White Room (Cream cover)
Well, if you haven't been living in a cave devoid of underground metal like I have for the past few years you'd know that Demons and Wizards is a project involving guitarist Jon Schaffer of Iced Earth and vocalist Hansi Kursch of Blind Guardian. Let me address both sets of fans:
Iced Earth fans--Can't get enough of that galloping, dark guitar work. Step right up and get your hammer-riff injection. Hansi's vocals may take a bit of getting used to with his slight German accent, but he sings solidly with confidence and conviction.
Blind Guardian fans--Can't get enough of that vocalist you love so much? Whooo, boy, you'll get your daily dosage with this disc. The pretty choruses are there and you'll easily be transported to a Celtic-inspired land that is as sinister as it is beautiful.
My synopsis of the songs:
Rites Of Passage - musical intro Heaven Denies - Fallen angel bitching about not being able to get into Heaven anymore. Poor Man's Crusade - Killing in the name of Jesus is bad, kids. Fiddler On The Green - Beware the nice man in the field. The pretty song he plays for you will be your last. Blood On My Hands - I've been a bad, bad boy. Now I'm doomed. Oops. Path Of Glory - Loser discovers spirituality. Happens in prisons all the time. Winter Of Souls - Rent the movie "Excalibur" and all will be clear. The Whistler - Somebody tell me what this about. Tear Down The Wall - Gnome is disappointed and destroys his Universe. Sucks to be them. Gallows Pole - "O, that this too too solid flesh would melt Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!" --Hamlet My Last Sunrise - Death, Take me. Love, your begotten Son. Chant - monk stuff
Over all I think the first half of the disc outshines the second half with a greater amount of ballsiness and rage to the songs. Some of the latter ones dragged for me and I found myself felling the ennui and wanting to fast forward. Nothing earth-shattering is here, but there is a compliment to the styles of both men that should please the devotees of both bands and bring more than a few metalheads into the field to be entranced by these tales of death, suffering, bitterness and loss. Get the special cd if you can for the cool inside popup version of the Fiddler On The Green cover.
Prime Cuts: Heaven Denies, Poor Man's Crusade, Fiddler On The Green
About this Writer: Frank Hill // Frank Hill has been at this site since its slimy, crying birth in '03. He was born on National Metal Day--11/11 and will turn his hearing aids up to 11 when he's 111. He secretly listens to a lot of old Country and Doo-Wop tunes and wants to start a cyberband with lead vocals by Robot Plant. He is still trying to figure out what Judas Priest meant by "paratamize you". If you read this, then he salutes you.
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