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White Wizzard - 2013 The Devil's Cut



ARTIST: White Wizzard
ALBUM: The Devil's Cut
LABEL: Earache
SERIAL: MOSH488CD
YEAR: 2013

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Joseph Michael - vocals * Jon Leon - bass, guitars * Jake Dreyer - guitars * Will Wallner - guitars * Giovanni Durst - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Forging The Steel * 02 Strike The Iron * 03 Kings Of The Highway * 04 Lightning In My Hand * 05 Steal Your Mind * 06 The Devil's Cut * 07 Torpedo Of Truth * 08 Storm Chaser * 09 The Sun Also Rises

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.whitewizzardofficial.com


Background
We've been with California metal band White Wizzard since day one. Which is more than I can say for the many members of the band who have gone through the turnstile over the course of four albums (three full albums + 1 EP). The only constant is band leader Jon Leon, and it must be said that whoever he has recruited for WW has been an inspired choice, given their performances on the previous albums. After two years, Wizzard have reappeared with album #4 'The Devils Cut', this time with new lead singer Joseph Michael and two new guitarists Jake Dreyer and Will Wallner. Previous singer Wyatt 'Screamin' Demon' Anderson was a fantastic vocalist (and I'm hopeful we'll see him again with another band), but it seems new boy Joseph Michael has slotted in amazingly well. He's actually a cousin of the late Ronnie James Dio and was previously with the band Midnight Reign. White Wizzard's sound is built around (excuse the pun) 'over the top' vocals, and Iron Maiden like delivery. That much hasn't changed, except only the 'deliverers'!


The Songs
Twin guitars are to the fore on 'Forging The Steel', an instrumental lead-off which segues directly into 'Strike The Iron', which really is just another name for Maiden's 'Aces High'! We hear Joseph Michael for the first time, and though deeper in tone than his predecessor Wyatt Anderson, he is in posession of a fine and powerful voice. His high-pitched scream is off the charts! 'Kings Of The Highway' veers more to the melodic rock side of the curb, American sounding mostly, lots of guitar duelling and solos plus some huge vocals from Michael. It's back to more Maiden like riffarama with 'Lightning In My Hands', a track I'm sure Messrs Harris and McBrain will have a slight chuckle if they ever sat down to listen to it. Mid-album, the brakes are applied to 'Steal A Mind', a slower tempo'ed track with emphasis on vocals with the guitars and rhythm section taking a back-seat for once. Next up is the title track 'The Devils Cut', another quick-step romp through the metal soundscape, and it's here that Michael brings a touch of former Warrior singer Parramore McCarty to the table, with his vocal style. That is certainly something not to be sneezed at! It leads into the crushing and relentless 'Torpedo Of Truth'; a strange title for sure, and a track which appears to be their first 'single' from the album it would seem. Again, another Maiden like performance. Just in case you thought it, 'Storm Chaser' is not some ode to all those idiots chasing whirling vortexes on Oklahoma's Highway 40 during Tornado Season. The lyrics read like a super-heroes 'do/don't list' mixed with an evening out on a Saturday night! Fantastic Four in party mode? Quite possibly. Closing with 'The Sun Also Rises', this is a part power-ballad/mid-tempo rocker. It's also the longest track here, a nod to epic metal but not quite.


In Summary
Earache Records have done well to keep White Wizzard in the spotlight, and the band will be out on the road in support of TDC. Musically, this album doesn't quite hit the mark production wise, especially the guitar mix. I mentioned this on a previous review: the band's sound tends to thin out when Will and Jake (and Jon) go into twin/duelling mode. The songs are too much stylised to Iron Maiden. I know that gives them kudos among trad metal fans, but it wears thin after awhile. A few change-ups during the album's running time would be welcome. Still, I enjoy the band and what they do, and will support them well into the future. Another hilarious video would be good too! How about it Jon?


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Comments
#1 | Eric on July 10 2013 17:03:28
Wild cover art!
 
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