For Germany's Wizard heavy metal isn't merely the music they make. It's a bond of friendship. The four friends, Michael Maass (g), Sören Van Heek (d), Volker Leson (b) and Sven D’Anna (v), formed the band more than 20 years ago, and with second guitarist Dano Boland they continue to this day. Trail of Death is their tenth album in their long career.
You can guess by the album title and the songs, Creeping Death, Angel of Death, or Black Death, for instance, that there's a theme here. Could it be death? Yes indeed. The subject is explored in typical Wizard fashion with the German version of 'true' metal, with variations on the type.
For instance, War Butcher is power metal with moments of thrash. Then Angel of Death takes the more moderate and steady pace of classic metal. Angel of Dark has more of a metal anthem with quieter moments with lighter guitar, but huge drums, backing up the vocals and then embellished with symphonic layer. Black Death is break neck speed metal, pure and simple. The symphonic power metal returns with Once For All. Death Cannot Embrace Me is more tempered melodic metal with a solid rock groove and smooth vocal arrangement.
The interesting song here is the marching We Won't Die For Metal, part metal anthem and part autobiographical. Wizard declares both their allegiance and limitations to metal in the chorus: 'let us fight, let us fight, defenders of metal, standing side by side, let us fight, let us fight, we won't die for metal, but we live it loud and proud.' You can get more 'true' metal than that. But what else would expect from Wizard, the heralds of the same. Recommended.
Wizard 'Won't Die For Metal,' but they'll fill up an album with it for a head banging good time.
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