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Review: Wizard – Metal in My Head

Label: Massacre Records

Date: February 19th, 2021

The title of one of the songs off this record, “30 Years of Metal”, gives you an idea about the date of Wizard’s foundation. The fact that they are hailing from Germany, with their moniker (not to mention the album’s title) should be enough to figure out what kind of music you will hear on the album. Hence, you can easily figure out that this band looked to follow in the footsteps of the German masterminds, such as Helloween, Grave Digger, Running Wild… So, Wizard was active at the correct time, in the correct place, but why the hell are they not as well-known as their countrymen?

Well, I’ve taken the liberty of browsing through their biography and discography. “Metal in My Head” is the twelfth full length record from the Germans. Prior to this one, they released albums titled “Battle of Metal” and “Bound by Metal” back in the 1990’s. The new millennium brought us albums titled “Odin” and “Thor”. Among other titles, you will find “Magic Circle”, “Fallen Kings”, “Son of Darkness”… On the new album, for instance, along with the title track and the mentioned “30 Years of Metal”, there is also a “Metal Feast”. On a similar note, there are songs titled “Victory”, “We Fight” (again with Odin and Thor) and “Years of War”.

You get my point, right? Talk about clichés, these guys used and abused them all.

So, the lack of versatility when it comes to topics is one thing that likely never gained them a larger audience. But what about the music itself?

On the musical side of things, Wizard is quite predictable, too. This is your typical epic heavy / power metal. Talking about influences, I would call them a German response to Manowar. In other words, “kings of metal” are the obvious inspiration, however, their signature toughness is slightly wrapped into the trademark German melodic approach to traditional power metal. While on the subject, the drum patterns often “slip” from the merciless pounding of late Scott Columbus to a somewhat more versatile style of Stefan Arnold of Grave Digger.

Simply put, Wizard’s music is closely following the set examples, step by step. Wherever you look, there is a recognizable cliché. Not a single trace of attempt to go for an original idea, or personal outtake on the given field.

Now, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing, if only the Germans managed to create at least a couple of catchy, memorable tracks. I wouldn’t even mind the clichés if I found at least one “Heavy Metal Breakdown”, “Kings of Metal”, “Rebellion”, “Louder than Hell” or at least “Loki, God of Fire”. The ten songs from “Metal in My Head” are all meant to give you chills and have you raise your hand up high for metal. However, I find that Wizard is firing blanks.

In culinary terms, all the ingredients for a real metal feast are there. The problem is that the wizard forgot to add salt. Furthermore, he decided to skip oil and grease and cook it all on water. And instead of pork, he put in a lot of broccoli.

Only for the extremely devoted.