Can you think of a line that describes the emotional microcosm of a fan better than the initial words of Terror Train, one of the most impressive tracks on the new Demons & Wizards album, Touched By The Crimson King? "I´m awake, you better feed … see full wiki
the second Demons & Wizards album was a long time coming, and it rocks. The blistering chugging crunch of Schaffer's guitar and the best voice in metal, Hansi Kursch, were meant to be together. When "Crimson King" starts up, with its definitive gallop, choral exclamations, and Bobby Jarzombek's assaultive double-bass blasting, hang on to your azz otherwise it will be kicked into space. Hansi's vocals build and build until the huge multi-tracked chorus, which spirals down into a slow, grinding chug -- then an echoic acoustic passage that brings to song full circle, returning to the opening theme but with the intensity cranked as Hansi's voice starts to shatter glass with his blood-chilling screams. A brilliant opening track, worthy of the masterful "Heaven Denies" from the first album. And from there the quality is outstanding, combining muscular riffage and outstanding vocals, with high-flying drama and an ear for arrangement that works like magic. "Beneath these Waves" is a vengeful, determined mid-tempo cruncher, followed by the the non-stop muted gallop of "Terror Train". "Wicked Witch" is a gorgeous ballad with acoustic guitar, cello, and piano and elaborate vocal arrangements. "Down Where I Am" is this album's "Fiddler on the Green", where Schaffer's intuitive choice of chords and Hansi's voice demonstrates amazing power and subtlety. "The Gunslinger" and "Dorian" are mysterious, seething torrents of soaring drama and. "Love's Tragedy Asunder" is a classic metal soft-hard power ballad, and "Seize the Day" breaks the album's otherwise imprisoned, oppressed feeling with simple but incredibly atmospheric melodies and a grandiose chorus that will make you pick up your sword and staff and go on a journey into nowhere. This second Demons & Wizards has been almost universally hailed as inferior to the first -- but give it a chance... I think it is just as good for sure, and both of them together make for some of the best metal out there.
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