Wizard - Head Of The Deceiver

Year of Release: 2001
Label: SPV
Catalog Number: SPV 085-4162
Format: CD
Total Time: 47:40:00

WizardI find I don't have very much to say about Wizard. While they are a tight and competent speed metal band, Head Of The Deceiver, their fourth album, fails to excite me. Oh, the bass and drumming is heart pounding and brutal, and I can't help getting caught up in the rhythm. But it isn't anything that makes me want to stop people on the street and tell them that they must listen to this. I don't consider that a sign of whether the album is good or bad, of course, just that other than a tapping foot, it doesn't move me much. The vocalist, Sven D'Anna, is a screamer, and I have to give him credit for not trying to exceed his range. As I said, their playing is solid. I find more interest in the guitar and vocals than in the bashing of drums and thumping bass...there's much more variation in the former.

I don't want to cheat fans of this particular brand of metal, as I think you'll like it. I don't dislike it, and perhaps I'm spoiled by those prog and power metal bands that have a certain unique something extra that just makes them stand out from the pack. I don't find that something in Wizard...which is, in a way, a backhanded compliment. They are just another solid and talented speed metal band, but there are just so many of those (though perhaps far fewer than there are bad bands, I suppose). Perhaps I'm looking for too much. I mean, this band has something, but I'm not blown away as I've been with others...something I say about another band I've reviewed this week, The Reign Of Terror.

Formed in 1989 by drummer Snoppi Denn, the line up also features Michael Maass on guitars, Volker Leson on bass, and, as mentioned, D'Anna on vocals. I like D'Anna's voice as he is pleasant to listen to, even when screaming. Songs that stood out for me were "Demon Witches," and "The First One," which seems closer to prog metal, a la Rhapsody, than speed metal. And, what makes this latter one standout is that the drumming isn't that steady bash-bash-bash ... Denn's using the kit, providing texture. Playing at breakneck speed is all well and fine, but to repeat it for each track is rather boring. And, for me at least, that seems to be the case on more than one of this album's eleven tracks. At least two of the tracks address the "true metal" versus "false metal" battle -- "Defenders of Metal" and "True Metal" to be exact, though one can suppose that the truculent, heroic, Teutonic imagery is all part of the metaphor and that this battle underscores the entire work.

Also released by Limb Music (LMP 0106-030)

Evitum Okol (0:51) /Magic Potion (4:04) / Head Of The Deceiver (4:51) / Collective Mind (4:49) / Defenders Of Metal (4:31) / Calm Of The Storm (5:00) / Demon Witches (4:41) / Iron War (3:23) / The First One (4:45) / Revenge (3:42) / True Metal (6:40)

Sven D'Anna - vocals
Michael Maass - guitars
Volker Leson - bass
Snoppi Denn - drums

Son Of Darkness (1995)
Battle Of Metal (1997)
Bound By Metal (1998)
Head Of The Deceiver (2001)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: October 13th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Hits: 639
Language: english


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