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Demons & Wizards

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(103 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • I am a huge fan of both Iced Earth and Blind Guardian, and was extremely excited when I heard Jon and Hansi would be working together. However, I don’t think they spent enough time writing the album; I noticed that there are a few recycled Iced Earth rifs in some of the songs. Some of the songs are excellent (My Last Sunrise, Fiddler on the Green) and some are definately going to be skipped in my CD player. They definately should have incorperated more of Blind Guardian’s style into the music. This album will be listened to, but not nearly as frequently as The Dark Saga or Nightfall in Middle-Earth.

    Posted on February 5, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • It’s hard to convey perfection by describing the merits of an album through the written word. As a Heavy Metal listener I bought this album as a result of the recommendation of a friend. At first I hesitated. “Demons & Wizards? Never heard of them.” I later realized that it was a collaborative effort by the frontman of Blind Guardian and the guitarist of Iced Earth. I was vaguely familiar with these bands, perhaps having heard a song or two in passing without much thought or worry. When I played this for the first time it blew me away. It was the first album I’ve purchased in the past five years that I have actually moved to my personal top ten list. It is that good. I popped the CD in my car while driving home from a rough day at work and happened to have my attention diverted from the road to “Fiddler on the Green”, a dark and melodic tale about the Grim Reaper or “Death” and how Death realizes how he is prone to make mistakes as well and can feel sympathy for his victims, especially if they are young children. The first three or four times I heard the song it sent chills down my spine during the segway from atmospheric acoustic guitar work, to heavy rock at its finest. There is not one filler or bad song on this album, and even includes a bonus track of “White Room” by Cream, strutting the band’s scope and complexity with their unique and faithful take on this classic track. If I was stranded on a desert island with only one CD, this incredible work, without question, would be the one I keep my sanity with.

    Posted on February 5, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Being a huge fan of both Iced Earth and Blind Guardian, I have been very eager to get this album. Well, it is definitely a great album, but perhaps not quite as good as I thought it would be. Either way, it is quite amazing. Jon Schaffer’s riffing is, as always, godly, and Hansi’s over-the-top vocals add a melodic twist to the crunching heaviness. “Fiddler on the Green”, “Blood on my Hands”, and “Path of Glory” are my favorites. The transitions from acoustic melody to thrashy heaviness is killer. Mike Prator hits us with some incredible kick-snare drumming, the likes of which we heard on “The Dark Saga”. Oh, and I had no idea that Jon could play bass, not that he’s all that great at it. Why didn’t Hansi just do it, he is a bass player! As great as this album is, there’s something about it that’s just…off. I don’t think Hansi’s voice quite matches the dark and heavy nature of the music, whereas Blind Guardian is more anthemic power metal, which suits him better than the thrashiness of Iced Earth. It just seems like he’s trying to comform to the sound, and he doesn’t shine quite like he does in BG. Sometimes, it appears he’s even trying to sound like Matt Barlow, and the attempt falls flat. Another thing is that the lyrics are kind of weird, and at times surprisingly violent. For instance, “Poor Man’s Crusade” ends with the line “Let’s kill them all”, and “Fiddler on the Green” is an eerie tale of a little girl being murdered, with the line “her body smashed, her beauty’s gone”. It doesn’t feel like Blind Guardian or Iced Earth. But, maybe that’s better.It may sound like I’m putting this album down a bit, but it is really great, although I think there should have been a bit more soloing in it. It was one of the best albums to come out last year, along with Iron Maiden’s “Brave New World”, Nevermore’s “Dead Heart in a Dead World”, and Jag Panzer’s “Thane to the Throne”. I recommend checking out stuff from Iced Earth and Blind Guardian before you pick up this, but a fan of either band should not be without it.

    Posted on February 5, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I am 43 years old and listen to AC/DC, Black Sabbath ect. I’ve checked out lots of new bands on the internet through the years and have never found a single one worth buying, until now. I paid to download both of Demons & Wizards albums and after listening to the excellent side efforts from these two most talented musicians I had to order the actual CD’s here through Amazon. I downloaded two albums each from Iced Earth and Blind Guardian and though the music was ok in my old rock opinion it is not even close to Demons & Wizards. I only hope these two guys remain friends and realize what a wide range of people they are reaching. Please give us more of this excellent music in the future.

    Posted on February 5, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • People who say Demons and Wizards sounds like Blind Guardian meets Iced Earth aren’t listening closely enough. This musical match-up of IE’s Jon Schaffer and BG’s Hansi Kursch is magical in a way that’s hard for me to explain.I’m a fan of both bands, and respect the talents of both musicians. Yet, neither creates music like this. IE’s music is intense, sometimes brutal that borders on the blatantly angry. BG’s music is also intense, but in a more lyrically optimistic way. On one hand, a friendship between Jon Schaffer and Hansi Kursch seems unlikely. Schaffer has never been accused of being a starry-eyed dreamer. And Hansi isn’t known for seeing the glass half empty. Yet, these two musicians bonded on their first tour together many years ago…and now regard one another almost with mystical reverence.On this, their first collaboration, Schaffer and Kursch achieve synergy — a magical blending of styles that draws upon the foundation of both bands, yet transcends each. Frankly, Schaffer’s guitar work never sounded better. And Hansi’s voice — an acquired taste to some — is at its melodic best.My favorite track is “Fiddler on the Green,” a song that arose from two real-life tragedies in Hansi’s life. (In case you didn’t know, the CD’s cover graphics are based on the story line of “Fiddler.”) This song has poignant lyrics, killer guitar work (both electric and acoustic) and stellar vocals from Hansi.If you’re a fan of Iced Earth and/or Blind Guardian, Demons and Wizards is a must-have. If you aren’t familiar with those bands, yet you like well-played metal with a lot of nice vocals — not to mention the aforementioned element of “magic” — you should give Demons and Wizards a try.If you like what you hear, you’ll be pleased to know that Schaffer and Kursch are working on the next Demons and Wizards album — an album that will surely top my wish list for 2003.

    Posted on February 4, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now