REVIEW: DEMONS & WIZARDS – “III”
The time has finally come! Demons and Wizards have announced the release of their highly anticipated, third studio album, “III” set to be released on February 21, 2020, by Century Media Records worldwide.
If you’re not familiar with Demons and Wizards they are a legendary collaboration featuring Jon Schaffer (Iced Earth) and Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian.) Demons and Wizards have captured the musical style of both bands taking you on a journey filled with heavy power metal, epic riffs, and soul-crushing lyrics.
The first track on the new album is titled “Diabolic” right out the gate you know this album is going to be dark, atmospheric and heavy. The song starts off with a slow eerie build-up, before breaking into a powerful and catchy riff. This song holds a lot of pressure because it’s the first song fans are hearing after 15 years of waiting, and it DOES NOT disappoint. It sets the mood for the rest of the album, pumping you up and banging your head. Right off the bat “III” is satisfying my craving. “Diabolic” is the sequel to “Heaven Denies” bringing back an all too familiar feeling. This song makes a statement, and it roars we are fucking back!
The next track, “invincible” captures Kürsch majestic vocals. With more clean-toned guitar melodies. It has a softer pace but that doesn’t stop it from bringing the heat. You can hear a lot of Iced Earth in this track, very similar to the haunting style of Iced Earths Incorruptible. The track feels like a hybrid of old and new.
One of my favorite tracks off the album is “Timeless Spirt” it captures a very ghostly, ominous harmony. Taking you on a haunting journey. Starting off soft, the song leads up to some heavy riffs before ending off with an epic guitar solo. Honestly, the ending of the track kicks some serious ass! This song in particular showcases the vocal range of Kürsch, paired with some truly brilliant and speedy guitar riffs and solos from Schaffer. It is melodic and very atmospheric. You don’t need acid if you’re listening to this track, because it will take you on a trip!
Boom, next track picks things back up. Gets your head nodding and right away you have some bone shattering vocals with an almost gloomy choir style in the background. The track is called “Dark Side of Her Majesty” and let me tell you. It. Is. DARK! There are a few different inflections to Kürsch vocals. All are phenomenal, and the lyrics will get you chanting along.
There was one song on the album that really stood out. The 7th track “Midas Disease.” It has a heavier, raw pace. More of a hard rock groove to it. I like the placement because right away it grabs your attention. It almost feels like you’re listening to a different album. Its radically different from anything Demons and Wizards have put out before. I feel this song alone will bring controversy to the album, fans will either love it or hate it. I found it very refreshing and enticing on the album, it pulls you away, but at the same it time demands your attention.
And, finally, the album finishes off with “Children of Cain” This song is remarkably beautiful. Right at the beginning, you are flooded with emotional vocals. “The ravens have come at last” very haunting and poetic words spoken. But don’t get too relaxed listening! This song picks up HARD! Around the middle of the track, you are hit with power. What a way to finish off an album. Like I said, “III” will take you on a journey! Its everything you’d expect from Demons and Wizards. It’s powerful, atmospheric and heavy.