Before this album was released I was reading many reviews that said CK did not stack up to the debut album. I was very pleasantly surprised when I popped this album in to find out that it is definately as good if not better than their debut. I think the main reason is the songs are better front to back. Sure there was some killer tracks on the first album but there were also a few songs that I didn’t care for either. I can’t think of a dull track on this album.
The combination of John’s hammering rhythms and Hansi layered vocal harmonies create a great atmosphere and unique sounds. There is quite an even mix of heavy and acoustic parts again as John’s acoustic playing really shines on this album. Usually I get turned off by too much mellow stuff on a metal album but Demons and Wizards pull if off so well I can’t help but like it. Don’t worry there is still a lot of heavy songs and most parts that start mellow always kick in and get heavy. Like I said before I like every song on the album but my personal highlights include ‘Beneath these Waves’ killer song and great chorus!, ‘Loves Tragedy Asunder’ a powerballad done right, ‘Down Where I Am’ another powerballad, can’t explain why I like it so much, and ‘Lunar Lament’ supposedly a bonus track but one of the best IMO.
Overall this album exeeded my expectations. Not sure if was because of the previous reviews I read or the fact that I didn’t care for the last Iced Earth album TGB. Irregardless I see no reason why anyone who liked the first one won’t dig CK just as much. Who knows you may even like it better.
My rating for CK is 9/10 while I’d give the first album 8.5/10