STEINMETAL – 9/10
I was surprised to see that the WHITE WIZZARD crew hasn't sat on its hands this entire time. Their debut album, "Over The Top", didn't even had the time to insert itself into full recognition and here I already have a brand new release. These guys were really flying. Maybe that is why they called their new album "Flying Tigers", released via Earache Records. Who knows? However, what I do know is that this American group is a lean mean fighting Metal machine. They showed the world that NWOBHM hasn't really died in the US after all. After the British and US Metal seemed to have forgotten what their heritage feels like, there have been others to do it for them.
I have always been commenting about the deterioration of the old school in the countries that made so great in the 80s. Needless to say that with all the modernity flying around, my comments took breaths and even vomited. However, and this goes for almost any old school type of Metal subgenre, there will be always someone to carry the flame. I saw the Swedish scene doing just the thing for the British and the Americans. Nevertheless, with how things turned up with WHITE WIZZARD, this can be considered a comeback to the glory days, at least partially. With "Flying Tigers" at the helm, WHITE WIZZARD created NWOBHM in its true form that ranged back to the late 70s until the mid 80s. Furthermore, and that is one of the true things that I liked about their musical sensitivity, they attempted to turn catchy like song formulas into interesting progressive features.
Generally, I here declare that "Flying Tigers" topped so many old school albums that the Europeans, as NWOBHM's greatest competitors, released in the past few years. The album's sound production seemed so elegant, clean, polished to some extent with low gain on the guitar channels in order to capture the spirit of vintage times. Probably the only feature that was modern in the works was the drum set, but that didn't spoil a thing. With the aid of this kind of production, the material flew by with ease and with great delight.
Musically, I think that these guys are geniuses. Many Metal fans, especially as I see several of them today, don't like that bands reinvent old subgenres. In the case of WHITE WIZZARD, it seemed like they exactly knew how people would think. Therefore, alongside rather commercialized, yet undeniable by quality, NWOBHM hits as "West L.A. Nights", "Fight To The Death", "Night Train To Tokyo" and "Fall Of Atlantis", they bombarded with complex lines that made their material richer and even more impressive. "War Of The Worlds", "Blood On The Pyramids" and "Starman's Son" made me think again of why IRON MAIDEN, back in the beginning, wanted to sound more that what went on in their scene back then. Of course that like on any album, the band didn't accomplish in full, but they were utterly close. I bet that with a crew of skilled musicians that were led by the band's main man, the Steve Harris of WHITE WIZZARD, bassist Jon Leon that kept on hammering his instrument with such versatility, these guys can do anything.
With all of the band's higher qualities on making this album to become a blast, I have to serve the full load of my credits to one single dude and that is Wyatt Anderson. I don't know why this guy didn't want to remain in the band once again, but for me he was the strongest pillar on this album. His voice will forever be undeniable. I haven't heard too many high quality vocalists of late, but this guy has a true gift within his lungs of fire. I won't start making comparisons to the big boys, all I am saying is that it won't be the last time the Screaming Demon will be heard as he has so much chants to give.
Even without Anderson
as the band's official lead vocalist, I still believe that WHITE WIZZARD
has it in them. I am sure that ex-CELLADOR
's Michael Gremio
, which is also a fine talent, will prove his worth with this bunch. As for "Flying Tigers"
, start running after it as it will carve a memory of true NWOBHM, made by American hands, as it once did in the past.
DARYL ADOLPH – 10/10
I have been writing so many album reviews and articles over the last little while, that I perhaps have become a bit bored with the whole thing. Most of what I have written about was in the vein of the more extreme ends of Metal, which I love and proudly declare without a moment of hesitation… but I always seem to need and want some old school Metal to refuel on what it was that got me to be a raving Metalhead in the first place. I was completely unaware that I had slipped into that frame of mind… that is until I was charged with reviewing WHITE WIZZARD. I was in heaven…
Hailing from the home of American Metal, Los Angeles, these stunningly talented group of musicians bring back the Ol' Sunset strip days where good hard hitting Metal was the norm (and expected) way of life. This band takes their sound from such Metal alums as DOKKEN, LA GUNS, RATT, WHITESNAKE and then mix in other influences from the NWOBHM movement like legends IIRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST and SAXON… they resurrect the no nonsense and in-your-face beauty and the intense power of Metal that was around before the glut of the sad Hairspray movement soon overtook the scene in the late 80's.
Each song on its own is a capsule of what Metal was, yet every song they deliver never seems like they are rehashing the glory days. Songs like the very catchy "Night Train To Tokyo" not to mention the party anthem "West L.A. Nights" takes you back to that time where LA rocked with abandon on any given night… and yet every track seems so refreshing and new. WHITE WIZZARD has brought traditional Metal into this era, and shows where the strength that all Metal came from without ever coming across as some bastardized parody of the old school ways… They do it with conviction that is coloured with a healthy dose of humour.
This is an album that all need to hear, own and enjoy. This is your metallic roots, and it is a instant reminder that no matter what the new flavour of the month in Metal is… real Metal is alive and still kicking some ass. I hope that WHITE WIZZARD will keep up Defending the faith (A cheap JUDAS PRIEST usage) and will do it for a very long time. They may do things tongue in cheek, but it is all in good old fashioned Metal fun while really kicking some ass in the process.