Wizard - Thor review



Reviewer:
7.5

38 users:
7.50
Band: Wizard
Album: Thor
Release date: January 2009


01. Utgard (False Game)
02. Midgards Guardian
03. Asgard
04. Serpents Venom
05. Resurrection
06. The Visitor
07. What Would You Do?
08. Utgard (The Beginning)
09. Stolen Hammer
10. Lightning
11. Pounding In The Night


Power metal. Lets be honest, it has never been a particularly cool genre now has it? But even though power metal may have had a rise in the popularity a few years ago with bands like Dragonforce raising awareness of its withering species, times in power-metal-land these days are not exactly the best they have been. Not only this, but the increasing chasm within power metal itself between European power metal and so called U.S. power metal seems to have split people even more into niche categories, with the European power metal side bearing the full brunt of the cheese knives and hammers in its back.

Wizard, long running German power metallers have been there and done that, and probably bought the t-shirt as well, all really without becoming a well-known giant in the genre such as bands like Gamma Ray and Blind Guardian, also from sweet sweet Deutschland. "Thor" is album number eight, and not a whole lot has changed. Wizard have always been a European power metal band, and thus have been called "cheesy" and "flower metal" and all the other generic remarks, but compared to other bands in the genre, Freedom Call and Fairyland for example, these guys, and "Thor" in particular sound as hard as a ton of bricks and just as heavy. No, Wizard have never been the cheesiest band and "Thor" probably has the least dairy product of any kind in it looking back over the band's history. These guitar riffs are thick and solid, perhaps more and more reminiscent of good ol' "Painkiller" in places as they stab the airwaves. Singer Sven D'Anna once again follows on here from previous album "Goochan" where increasing amounts of rougher, gruffer vocals were used in between the wailing, which have themselves noticeably increased in quality over the years. Wizard are once again the complete package, perhaps even more so with "Thor" as this new offering is the band's first with two guitar players. Every element of their music as precise, clean and accomplished as the next. Plenty of double bass drumming seals the album together and seals the deal for a good quality album.

European power metal, U.S. power metal, whatever. Chances are if you like power metal, you will like this album. "Thor" has the wailing vocals, the catchy choruses and of course the fantastical themes and lyrics of a concept album, but it also has the hard and heavy guitar riffs, some rougher vocals and a tough, rough and ready feel that the U.S. brings to power metal.

Overall "Thor" is a great, solid album, but for long running Wizard fans may feel slightly lacking in standout songs that latch inside your head and never want to let go. Who can forget the "Witch Of The Enchanted Forest", or the "Call Of The Wild", or even the "Magic Potion"? Indeed, there is nothing quite so catchy for Euro power fans on this release, but what "Thor" does is open itself up to a possible middle ground of power metallers who consist of both Euro and U.S. power followers. If you're already a Wizard fan, you'll like this album but it won't be your favourite. If you're new to Wizard and swing both ways when it comes to power metal, this might just be your thing.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Production: 9


 



Written on 13.03.2009 by Member of Staff since 2006.


Comments

Comments: 19   Visited by: 160 users
13.03.2009 - 20:17
Janne
Hugin
Nice, thanks for the review I'll check this album out asap. I haven't known this band yet but after reading this I think I'd like them!
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-FOLK METAL HUNGARY-
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13.03.2009 - 20:27
Ellrohir
Heaven Knight
Hm...never even heard about this band...gotta check it out
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So behold the flight of the sapphire dragon
soaring through the skies once again


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13.03.2009 - 20:44
Bararey
Winter is Coming
Heard about their album coming out, dunno why but I've been reluctant to get it
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"Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought honorably. And Rhaegar died."
Ser Jorah Mormont
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13.03.2009 - 23:09
Janne
Hugin
I forgot to mention that Viking themes are always a positive thing for me Even if there's nothing folk in the music (like Stromwarrior)
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-FOLK METAL HUNGARY-
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14.03.2009 - 01:39
quirin
Yeah, I use to like viking stuff too... but come on, how could anyone manage to be inventive in the genre nowadays? Guess I'd better keep my hands off this record, so I won't be disapointed any further.
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14.03.2009 - 09:17
Ellrohir
Heaven Knight
So band checked and marked as "very good one"
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So behold the flight of the sapphire dragon
soaring through the skies once again


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14.03.2009 - 14:03
Baz Anderson
Glad you liked them!
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14.03.2009 - 19:00
GT
Coffee!!
Guess it's an album for me then since I, as you out it "swing both ways" when it comes to power metal. Liked some of their earlier works as well
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Dreams are made so we don't get bored when we sleep
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15.03.2009 - 10:46
Janne
Hugin
Well, I got this album and I can say it's quite good stuff though it won't be my favourite album..
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-FOLK METAL HUNGARY-
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15.03.2009 - 20:55
MetalManic
Need a new genre? Who wants to start an 'Organic Metal' band with me?
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MetalManic
www.MetalManic.com
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15.03.2009 - 22:35
MetalAlex
I don't like Thor. Wizard's previous album is far more original and memorable.
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25.03.2009 - 16:09
YoreLore
Good review and good to see you dont resort to the usual pointless name calling that a lot of "metal" fans give to Power Metal bands. I dont care about originality, if I like an album by a band then I dont mind hearing another 200 songs that are in a similar style
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"I'm rising in power through murdering rain
Stronger than Faith allows
Braver than heroes vows
...My head is bloody
but I am unbowed
I am power..."
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03.06.2009 - 00:11
Vikingocalypse;
Account deleted
I was listening to this at Scrape's a couple days ago. It's a great album.
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04.06.2009 - 12:23
Bas
Retired Staff
The review and especially the rating are spot on Baz. I'd have given an 8 instead of a 9 for performance, apart from that I'm completely with you.

Personally I found Thor to be extremely disappointing though. Odin, Goochan and Magic Circle, all three of the previous albums were really fantastic power metal, Thor however is only a bit above average if you ask me...
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BAS - Beautifully Accented Sexiness
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13.05.2010 - 02:33
MacofMetal
This album is awesome. as an odinist that was recentl introduced to viking metal, this album did alot to push me further:thumbup:
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22.10.2011 - 07:37
Butters49
Haha first paragraph is awesome.
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"Sataaaaaaaaan. Yeah yeah!"
-King Diamond
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22.10.2011 - 07:57
R'Vannith
ghedengi
^ Holy hell you must have really loved that paragraph to warrant a septuple post!
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22.10.2011 - 08:03
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by R'Vannith on 22.10.2011 at 07:57
^ Holy hell you must have really loved that paragraph to warrant a septuple post!

That first paragraph is pretty awesome I guess.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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22.10.2011 - 08:10
R'Vannith
ghedengi
Written by Troy Killjoy on 22.10.2011 at 08:03

Written by R'Vannith on 22.10.2011 at 07:57
^ Holy hell you must have really loved that paragraph to warrant a septuple post!

That first paragraph is pretty awesome I guess.


It's certainly true, though not something I was unaware of.
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