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Demons and Wizards | review | metal | Lollipop

Demons and Wizards

by Martin Popoff

The next plateau in power metal's rise has been reached, that is the idea of a record truly anticipated in an emotional manner. Demons & Wizards is that record, benefiting from a bits'n'pieces build-up through news items and interview mentions over the last two years. It is, of course, the collaboration between Iced Earth's leader Jon Schaffer (the new Joey DeMaio) and Blind Guardian frontman Hansi Kursch, and it does, of course, also benefit from the grand, elongated moniker (this stuff is important). The result is synergy personified: quality, serious-minded power metal riffs from Schaffer, who straddles the American tradition of the mid-'80s and the European tradition of the late '90s, and slightly distinct hero-worship vocals from Kursch, whose secondary gift is his skill in writing and executing creatively fresh harmonies. Add to this a dramatic flair (see "Fiddler on the Green," among other welcome acoustic respites) that realizes the project's importance as this special teardrop that could potentially fall way up the bill of many a Euro festival, and you've got a package that seems silver-spooned and briskly destined for gold-plating.


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