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Wyzdom - Through the Looking Glass

Through the Looking Glass
by Martin Knap at 22 July 2019, 7:07 PM

WYZDOM was a Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band form Minneapolis that had a pretty long run in the 80s, was quite productive and active, but only independently released one full-length album titled “Through the Looking Glass”, which is being re-issued now by Heaven and Hell Records. The release was supported by several gigs and singles from the album got some radio airplay, but they failed to secure a record deal, after which they called it quits. The self-released album came only on cassette (if the information on Metal Archive is correct), and must have been pretty limited, so no wonder that not many people have heard it and that the band fell into oblivion – and with it all the unreleased material, which totals three unreleased full-length albums and an EP titled “Voice of Rebellion” which is included on the CD re-issue.

WYZDOM were pretty much a typical US Glam Metal band, their sound could be compared to bands KISS, DOKKEN, RATT, or QUIET RIOT – basically the less Pop influenced, obnoxious bands from that cohort of bands (by obnoxious Glam Metal I mean all the no-good bands like POISON, WARRANT, WINGER etc., I think we can all agree that those better be forgotten). “Through the Looking Glass” is an album with mostly loud, straight-forward, catchy songs that ooze a kind of carefree, brash attitude of the 1980s, but it’s not stupid party Rock. The more I dug into the album the more soulful the music turned out to be. The opener “The Fire Keeps Burning” is an energetic, high-spirited rocker, a bit simplistic but memorable. There are a few songs like this, I can’t say that I care much for let’s say “No One’s Gonna Rock You” – it just sounds a bit dated and corny to me. But there are gems on this album too: “Bridges of Magik” is a groovy, bit bluesy number with a driving, crunchy riffs backed by a rumbling bass. “Through the Looking Glass” is a nice melancholic mid-tempo song with memorable hooks and kind of a dreamy vibe that complements the occult subtext of the lyrics. The upbeat “Promised Land” is a bit corny, but is also very fun – like some other songs it has a hit potential that makes one wonder how did this band never get notices. “Not Afraid to be Strange” is another such song – it’s very slick and catchy, and the uplifting chorus gets me every time.

I’ve enjoyed this more then I’ve first expected. Let’s be honest, this sound hasn’t aged too well – there is a reason why BLACK SABBATH or MOTORHEAD are considered timeless but many Glam Bands are not. But nonetheless WYZDOM has more soul than many of the Glam bands, and I appreciate that the album is being re-issued. It’s not for everyone, but I think that this release can be appreciated not just by nostalgic Boomers and 80s Metal nerds.

Songwriting: 8
Memorability: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

01. The Fire Keeps Burning
02. All Your Love
03. Chase Your Dream
04. Bridges of Magik
05. Through the Looking Glass
06. No One's Gonna Rock You
07. Waiting for You
08. Not Afraid to be Strange
09. When I Look into Your Eyes
10. The Promise Land

Mark Nesser - Vocals, Keyboards
Steve Janke - Bass
Kevin Chambers - Drums
Dave Sanborn – Guitars

Record Label: Heaven and Hell Records


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