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On disc: White Wizzard

Over The Top - Umberto Mino - 8 stars
Flying Tigers - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Flying Tigers

Flying Tigers
(Earache Records - 2011)

This is the second album of the Americans, even if it's my first contact with White Wizzard. The fivesome is based in early 80's heavy metal. If they can keep the spirit alive? Well...

White Wizzard head into Flying Tigers with Fight To The Death, an up-tempo rock which shows their 80's influences. The song sound like it was written in the early / mid-80's but due to the modern production it sounds... Well, it doesn't have the authentic sound, it sounds to clean. But this might get the interest of younger metal fans who are just used to the clean - sometimes sterile - sound of nowadays productions and who have a problem with the sound quality of the ol' days.

After another rocker they present Starchild, a power ballad with acoustic guitars and the emotional vocals of Michael Gremio. Cool guitars and a memorable vocal line. The title track is another rocker and if you wonder what are the Flying Tigers... It was "the 1st American Volunteer Group, a World War II unit known as 'The Flying Tigers'," (source: Wikipedia). But they won't fire staccato riffs at you, you get heavy riffs, but also great guitar leads. Night Train To Tokyo is a heavy rocker which offers some breaks, some Maiden moments and a dash of Tokyo Blade. For Night Stalker they speed up and again you'll find some references to Iron Maiden, but there is something else... Anyway, it's fun!

With Fall Of Atlantis they present a more complex tune which needs several spins to really get into it. But it has some catchy moments. Demons And Diamonds is almost 10 minutes long and so it takes time til the vocals set in, at that point you already think it's an instrumental. The guys offer speed changes and some instrumental frenzy, but without pushing too far. They even embed some slightly Oriental sounds in this tune. A bit strange is Dark Alien Overture, the instrumental shows a progressive edge, actually something I haven't expected from White Wizzard and it might be too challenging for some... But then, you can skip this one. More Oriental sounds lead you into War Of The Worlds, a mid-paced rocker which needs time to grow. It also offers some up-tempo parts and so is a bit bulky... The closer is called Starman's Son, the opening passage sounds familiar, but before you can fathom it the vocals set in and demand your attention. The closer shows once more that White Wizzard have more to offer then simple 80's heavy metal, so they present at this one a folk rock passage.

At the beginning of the album you might think this is a typical 80's heavy metal album, but while listening to Flying Tigers you'll learn slowly that White Wizzard have more to offer. Sure, they don't present some revolutionary new, but they present a decent album which fans of 80's metal should enjoy.

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


Over The Top

Over The Top
(Earache Records - 2010)

After a short time from their self-product debut EP High Speed GTO, White Wizzard return with a new full-length CD and a new line-up. And many of you just ask how is the result after this earthquake in the band.... Simple answer: The result is excellent. For me this until now the biggest and nicest surprise of this 2010 year!!!! Pure '80s metal on this Over The Top CD, no effects, no tricks, no triggered drums, just guitars drums and guts!!!! These American guys has done a good record with songs and for many of you that collect metal search on itunes their cover versions of Cloven Hoof's Gates Of Gehenna and Judas Priest's Heading Out To The Highway, these songs are available on the limited editions as bonus tracks.
Let's analyze better this CD starting from the title tack (look for the video), a fiery declaration of (pure) metal and the follower 40 Deuces confirm that!!! High Roller is simply a homage to the Maiden sound with that riff sooooooo Murray-Smith sound alike!!! Live Free Or Die and Iron Goddess Of Vengeance make happy the pure metal fans with echoes of NWoBHM bands like Cloven Hoof, Out Of Control and Strike Of The Viper give us another shots of metal devotion (please listen to the lyrics!!!). Death Race and White Wizzard close this beautiful CD. They don't create new sounds, we don't ask them to do this... We always want CDs like this one!!! From now, White Wizzard Over The Top is in my 2010 Top 10 list!!!
Valuation 8/10.... For the limited edition with bonus tracks it's 9/10!!!!

8 stars

Umberto Mino


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