Wizard: Magic Circle
Wizard - Magic Circle - [Limb Music Products]


Wizard had an interesting approach as to how this fifth album of theirs should begin. A church-like intro with ominous sounds in the background is definitely a good way to start. A minute after the beginning we start with an excellent song, Fire And Blood, that could go very far in the power metal world. The song is jumpy, but somewhere in the middle it slows down almost entirely and for an entire minute we have a slow rhythm and almost a growl-like voice supplied by Sven D'Anna. The song ends with yet another speedy power metal run. Call Of The Wild has a few good riffs, an impressive solo and a solid work by Sven with the vocals. Death Is My Life tries to emulate the Fire And Blood trick, but it doesn't work. A very good ballad, On Your Knees, follows, and with its beautiful long solo, the soft music and the high tones(although he used them a bit too often) it's very enjoyable to hear. After that we have two interesting songs, mainly because of their name. The first one, Metal, tells with a typical European power metal music-playing about the need and the will the band has for heavy metal. Somehow Valhalla, the Scandinavian gods hall of fame, is linked to that song, but I didn't understand the connection. The second song, Uruk Hai, is much better. It starts off with a marching sound that would indeed be fitting the Uruk Hai from "The Lord Of The Rings". Those sounds are abruptly stopped with a nice riff, and then the actual song commences. This song doesn't have the speedy rhythm most songs of the album have, but it has a rhythm that Manowar, the band that was most influential on Wizard's work, would have been proud of. The "Hoo Hoo" sounds that occasionally show up on the track pissed me off, the main idea of the song, "we are the Uruk-Hai and we're going to conquer middle earth", is something Tolkien or Jackson would not look fondly at, but all in all it's a really nice song. Circle Of Steel follows, and although it takes the rhythm up a notch it doesn't reveal anything new – same old power metal you would expect from a German band with the monotonic tune in the background and the vocalist that goes to the high tones(cleanly enough, I must say)or to a choir with the rest of the band. The positive side on this track isn't the solo or the "Hey, Hey" chant, it's the very professional drumming display. Warriors Of The Night was the first single plus clip the band released from the album and justifiably so, it's an excellent power-ballad. The next track, No Way Out, starts slowly and heavily, but it doesn't take too long before we return to that power metal singing and playing style we know so well. The Magic Goes On is a happy and speedy power metal track in most of its playing-time, and it wants to emphasize that Wizard are here(as the lyrics say "now it's time for wizard"). The contrast to the rhythm in that song is the next one and the final one of the album. Don't Say Goodbye is a nice ballad that calls to unity, but I'm not sure how many power metal fans will be united behind that band with that album.

Nir Haviv

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