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White Wizzard - 'The Devil's Cut' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/71/b0/70/White-Wizzard-The-Devils-Cut-83-1388001919.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 25, 2013    
 
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A blisteringly good heavy metal album.

Six years into their existence, this LA-based traditional heavy metal band has already had more than twice as many previous members as are currently in the band! For this, their third album, the line-up comprises just one original member, bassist Jon Leon. He is joined by vocalist Joseph Michael, guitarists Will Wallner and Jake Dreyer and drummer Giovanni Durst. They don't exactly look a "together" bunch of guys in the group photograph, but the first rate performances and strong songs included on 'The Devil's Cut' belies this initial misconception.

The first two tracks are segued – so that one effectively gets a two-minute introduction from 'Forging The Steel' immediately demonstrating the album's great production values, and from a playing perspective the quality of the two lead guitarists. Then for nearly another seven minutes 'Strike The Iron' is a tremendous showcase for the entire band, and particularly versatile vocalist Michael who demonstrates the power, range and histrionics emanating from his pipes! However, as a potential metal anthem it seems to suffer from the "let's add a little more" syndrome, as it could have quite comfortably finished two minutes earlier (and very nearly did!)

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Main song writer Leon clearly has a keen ear for melody and this is ably revealed in songs such as 'Kings Of The Highway', 'Lightning In My Hands', the title track and 'Storm Chaser' (all also containing to-die-for guitar solos and dizzying riffs). These share the distinction of all being in the four to five minute range and thus their goodness is concentrated very effectively, although the last of these fades unnecessarily! Fortunately, it's the only song on the album to do so, so I shall forgive this blemish. The remaining songs ('Steal Your Mind', 'Torpedo Of Truth' and album closer 'The Sun Also Rises') stretch into the six to nine minute range and consequently allow for even more of the band's strengths to be paraded, not least of which are more of the sizzling guitar solos (sorry to keep banging on about these – but they are really quite something), the demonstrative vocals and the ever-present melodic undercurrent.

If this line-up can be maintained, they might become a force to be reckoned with. Of course, one can hear an inevitable quotient of derivation, but when the whole shebang is presented as effectively and passionately as it is here, that is not a criticism.

A blisteringly good heavy metal album!

Paul Jerome Smith

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