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Articles Home » 2005 Articles » Demons And Wizards - 2005 Touched By The Crimson King
Demons And Wizards - 2005 Touched By The Crimson King

Hansi Kursch - vocals
Jon Schaffer - all guitars, bass

Guest Musicians:
Bobby Jarzombek - drums, percussion
Jim Morris - guitar solos, backing vocals
Rubin Drake - bass & fretless bass
Howard Helm - piano, backing vocals

This is album number two from this (essentially) project band by two of prog metal's leading lights. Hansi Kursch from Blind Guardian and Jon Schaffer from Iced Earth. The efforts of these two men in their respective bands has all been said before. Their union has resulted in a unique sound that meshes (understandably) the traits and influences of both bands. For fans of either band, expecting a supergroup masterpiece under the Demons And Wizards banner would be great, but entirely unrealistic. Reviews elsewhere for this album are a bit mixed, but that's the Internet for ya! Some love it, some hate it. I guess it depends what your reference point is. Mine is melodic power metal with an emphasis on melody, so in that regard D&W stack up rather well. The speed element is apparent throughout, the rhythm section, particularly the OTT drumming of Jarzombek is on red alert most of the time, despite the drums sounding quite dry in the final mix. The riffing of Schaffer is, as expected, one of the keys to D&W's sound. The other key of course is the vocal work of Kursch. Despite missing much of the vocal grandeur heard on Blind Guardian's material, Kursch does quite OK without all the embellishments.

The Songs
Opening up with the power pairing of 'Crimson King' and 'Beneath These Waves', D&W then take us on a frantic ride with 'Terror Train'. The band slow up with the acoustic dominated 'Seize The Day'. Even 'The Gunslinger' starts out restrained, before unleashing some spirited power metal to defy all the odds. I wonder if bullets fly this fast? 'Loves Tragedy Asunder' is similar in approach, but on the other hand, the 6 and a half minute effort 'Dorian' is straight out of the epic category, while the reworking of Led Zeppelin's 'Immigrant Song' is a powerful and brooding affair, one which will do the original proud.

In Summary
Many people listening to D&W are waiting for the real thing I guess. And that is, the next proper studio albums from Blind Guardian and Iced Earth. In the meantime, they can take some solace with this album. A pretty good intermediary by anyone's standards.


Track Listing:
01 Crimson King
02 Beneath These Waves
03 Terror Train
04 Seize The Day
05 The Gunslinger
06 Love's Tragedy Asunder
07 Wicked Witch
08 Dorian
09 Down Where I Am
10 Immigrant Song


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