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Review: Wizard - Head Of The Deceiver
Head Of The Deceiver

Label: Limb Music Products
Year released: 2001
Duration: 47:42
Tracks: 11
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: July 8, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.13/5 (82.67%) (15 Votes)

I like this CD, and I don’t feel very good admitting that. This is album number four for these German heavy-metal nutballs, considered by many their best. If the others are worse than this, I don’t know if my stomach (or my neck) could take it. Wizard play heavy, crunchy speed metal with that signature German sound, and some have compared them to Paragon, but it would have to be a drunk version of Paragon.

If some madman decided to cross old Helloween with Manowar, they’d get something like this band. Wizard are very into the "True Metal Warrior" thing with song titles like "Defenders of Metal" and "True Metal" and that leather, swords-and-spikes image we all know and wince at on Manowar. Wizard are not as talented as Manowar, but are much more enthusiastic in their metalizing. These guys go after their music like a gang of Vikings going after a drunken teenage girl: vigorously and without regard for the mess that may ensue. The guitars crunch out hooky, speedy riffs and volleying solos that sound like they are about to trip over themselves. This band is not very tight, but it’s hard to argue with their energy level. Songs like "Magic Potion", the aforementioned "Defenders of Metal" and "Iron War" rock out with headbanging fuel to spare. The vocals are OK, but nothing to get excited about. Sven D’Anna’s midrange vox are fine, and there are the typical German-style shout-along backing vocals, but when he does his ‘high notes’ I wince. He can’t really sing high, instead pushing his falsetto, sometimes (most notably on the title track) sounding like some kind of metal Bee Gee.

The CD case has dreadful cover art, more notable for being lurid and colorful than for any artistic merit – much like the band itself. The band pics are what you would expect, with the band members grimacing and drooling fake blood, spitting fire and waving swords – you get the idea. The lyrics are included, and they are utterly hilarious. I don’t know if it’s the language barrier or what, but these are so into the whole "metal warrior" barbarian worship they verge on the homoerotic. Try: "Show me your fist/Show me the muscles/ Your bronze-colored body out of control". I can only assume this is unintentional – at least I sure hope so.

All that said, this is a guilty pleasure for me. The lyrics are silly, the playing is sloppy and the singing is at times embarrassing. But Wizard conjure up some enjoyable stuff that will get your head banging. "Head of the Deceiver" comes galloping out of the speakers like a pack of drunken coyotes, and the fun of the CD more than makes up for the eye-rolling looks I get from my wife when I play it. For fans of Germanic power metal this is a good bet. I can’t say Wizard are a great band, because they aren’t. And I can’t say "Head of the Deceiver" is a great album, because it isn’t. But for fans of the genre, this will get the job done.

More about Wizard...
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Review: Fallen Kings (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Goochan (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Magic Circle (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Metal in My Head (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Metal in My Head (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Odin (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Thor (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Trail of Death (reviewed by MetalMike)
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