Head of the Deceiver

Germany’s Wizard is more akin to Hammerfall or even Iron Maiden than to pompous glory metal acts like Rhapsody or Symphony X. Bereft of keyboard interference, the guitar work is fast, furious, and heavier than most of the swordswingers in the battle metal genre. In fact, the lyrical content and cover art seem to be the only direct glory metal connection. If it weren’t for those two elements, this would sound more like Iron Maiden on a bad day with King Diamond singing backup for a hungover Bruce Dickinson.

But not to discourage the potential listener, Wizard has their redeeming qualities, mainly galloping riffs and a quick pace; and while the vocals aren’t terrible, they’re just not that inspiring. The backup vocals on the title track reminded me of a courtside spirit chant at a professional football game, it was just a little bit too corny and repetitive. And with the exception of a typical, cheesy (and thankfully short) intro track, the disc is worthy of more than just a few spins. It starts out strong, but quickly gets somewhat redundant until later tracks of interest roll around; tracks like “Demon Witches,” “Collective Mind,” and “Revenge,” which involve some engaging guitar work.

So the verdict is straightforward – if you dig Hammerfall you’ll probably like this release from Wizard. And at least these guys aren’t stealing riffs from The Karate Kid soundtrack.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Ryan Gregory
May 8th, 2001


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