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Manfred Mann's Earth Band - 1996 The Best Of (Warner Brothers US Compilation)
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ARTIST: White Wizzard ALBUM: Over The Top LABEL: Earache Records SERIAL: MOSH383CD YEAR: 2010
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Jon Leon - bass, guitars * Wyatt Anderson - vocals * Erik Kluiber - guitars * Chad Bryan Yasuhara - guitars * Giovanni Durst - drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Over The Top * 02 40 Deuces * 03 High Roller * 04 Live Free Or Die * 05 Iron Goddess Of Vengeance * 06 Out Of Control * 07 Strike Of The Viper * 08 Death Race * 09 White Wizzard * 10 Gates Of Gehenna (bonus CD) * 11 Heading Out To The Highway (bonus CD)
Background A year ago I took time out to review the EP by Los Angeles outfit White Wizzard. These boys have rediscovered 80's metal all over again, and made it popular once more with their youthful renditions that celebrate the style of Iron Maiden (in particular) along with Armored Saint. Similarly to the recently reviewed Airbourne, White Wizzard could be considered by many to be a great tribute band, seeing as both Maiden and Saint are still going concerns, but try telling that to band leader Jon Leon and his 80's trad metal troopers! It seems that Leon has settled on his new line-up, after completely sacking the previous incarnation of the band not long after the release of the 'High Speed GTO' EP from last year. However it appears that disgruntled former members James Paul Luna, James LaRue and Tyler Meahl have since hijacked the whitewizzard.com domain, which leads people to their new band Holy Grail. Despite the animosity, 'Over The top' is a guaranteed fun time listen for those of you still stuck back in the early 80's. It's a fresh updated sound with familiar styles, lyrics, dual guitar work and swords/sorcery imagery, and with new singer Wyatt 'Screamin' Demon' Anderson, White Wizzard have a vocal blazer who can scream with the best of them. This album has more 'balls' than the '..GTO' EP for sure!
The Songs Anderson takes his cue on the opener 'Over The Top', a ball-busting anthem of Maiden-esque proportions. Check out the hilarious video below (the mid section with the jazz music/trumpet being played by the dark wizard is a complete laugh!). Not to be outdone, the absolute galloping '40 Deuces' should be a track to put a smile on Steve Harris' face. WW deliver some good gritty metal with 'Live Free Or Die', though when the boys do the dual solo thing, the band's sound tends to thin out. I'd much prefer to keep one side riffing hard while the other flails away on lead guitar. Just my opinion. 'Iron Goddess Of Vengeance' moves easily into Savatage territory, while 'Out Of Control' is possibly the heaviest track on offer, a fast-paced affair too. 'Strike Of The Viper' is another gritty rocker with a stomping attitude, whereas 'Death Race' has a definite speedy tempo to it in keeping with the lyrics of the song. 'White Wizzard' has a lot in common with Manowar, thundering bass lines, huge vocals, and a stop/start arrangement, though not quite as powerful as DeMaio and co.
In Summary 'Over The Top' comes with a two track bonus CD, containing the tracks 'Gates Of Gehenna' and the Judas Priest chestnut 'Heading Out To The Highway'. Just recently (March 2010), White Wizzard have been on tour in the UK and Europe, playing the Hammerfest Festival and supporting Edguy. I hope the punters had a good geek at these L.A boys. As mentioned, it's all fun stuff, hardly new, but played with energy and vigour. White Wizzard are here to stay, and are a reminder of those heady days of the early 80's. I wonder if the boys from Anvil are taking any notice?
Gotta say, they make great videos. The GTO with the number plate 666, the White Wizzard fella, and the bad guy. The bad gal in the previous vid from 'High Speed GTO' was a hoot too! Glad to see some humour back in rock videos again!
Gosh that video was funny! When they removed the label- lol. I wish I had that convertible 1968 GTO! Well really I'll settle for a 1969 convertible firebird. Interesting band, I actually liked the horn part!