|Review: Wizards - The Kingdom|
Label: Arise Records
Year released: 2002
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: December 21, 2010
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Fifty bucks to the first guy to tell me how many metal bands have wizard in the title? Ah, yes, it's another Power Metal act with a stupid (but cool) fantasy cover and yes, they play stupid (but cool) Power Metal that you probably all think is going to suck but is, excuse the colloquial phrase, pretty fucking class. Taking the best parts of Kamelot, Sonata Arctica, Angra and even Power Quest, these Brazilians certainly know their stuff, and on The Kingdom, they show us just how awesome this genre can be when played with one ear tuned to melody and one foot on the gas.
More in the mid-paced and crunchy camp guitar-wise, The Kingdom is light and shade all over, in spite of the vocal melodies, which are all pure Power Metal dynamite. "King Without A Crown" and "Riding The Twilight" are what this genre is all about: expressive vocals, sweet guitar work, subtle keys, double-kick drumming, and best of all, a real emotional connection to the music. Vocalist Christian Passos is a great find; a man who can rasp it up with the best of them but also rise to the challenge with a strong higher register, never missing an opportunity to shine. There are some rather cool prog-like sections here that really make this sound like Angra, but on the whole Wizards cover most of the Power Metal spectrum, with heavy and melodic moments falling over each other for time. The production is a little off at times, but the master makes The Kingdom loud as hell, and so you forget these paltry niggles and get yourself lost.
Fans of the genre should pick this up when they have the chance, as it really is a first-rate release. Wizards have a touch of originality about them, which keeps you coming back, and the songs are all varied, offering something to even the cursory listener. It's been a while since I've been so surprised by a Power Metal album, so take my advice and go out and get it. You might be surprised, too.
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