Demons & Wizards - _Demons & Wizards_
(SPV Records, 2000)
by: Adrian Bromley (8 out of 10)
There were rumors about this band for many years and finally their debut release is upon us. The group in question is Demons & Wizards, a side project for Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian vocalist/bassist) and Jon Schaffer (Iced Earth guitar slinger). With high energy and great melody, not to mention Schaffer's trademark riffs leading the way, D&W is a blistering assault of power metal that easily transports the listener to a far off realm to lie sedated as the tales of love, lust and death float by. Kursch's vocal range is spectacular and Schaffer has given his all here. While many will write this off as a "Blind Earth" or "Iced Guardian", after numerous listens those foolish thoughts will be non-existent. This is more than just an amalgamation of both veteran performers' styles and sounds. It's a wonderful trip into an experimental realm of metal music, a set of ideas that no doubt these two would not really bring out within their respective projects. Or could they? From the furious opener "Heaven Denies" onto stunning tracks like "Poor Man's Crusade" and "Fiddler on the Green", there is no doubt in anyone's mind that these guys have carefully crafted the D&W experience. Fans of both members' other projects will not be turned off by what they have provided us here. This is just an extension of their talented musicianship.

(article published 5/3/2000)

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