WIZARD - Magic Circle

Wizard - Magic Circle

12 songs
59:09 minutes
***** *
Limb Music


Song titles like Metal, Circle Of Steel, Call Of The Wild,... and the mandatory cliché metal lyrics paint already a clear enough picture. Wizard may have been around longer than Hammerfall, but that still doesn't change the fact that they owe much of their sound to early Manowar. That's something I mentioned already in a previous review two years ago, and things haven't really changed that much. Magic Circle is by no means a bad album. The Wizard guys look very grim on the back cover, but they are at least not male Barbie dolls like American testosterone fuelled musclemen.

Intros on German heavy metal albums have ceased to be cool in the late Eighties when bands like Kreator, Paradox and Deathrow all seemed to use the same midi applications, so let's skip ahead to the opener Fire And Blood, an aggressive power metal song putting emphasis on a basic yet crushing production that's miles away from the overwrought sound of the more popular bands of the genre. From here on it's mostly straight on fast power metal songs with a refreshingly normal sounding vocalist who doesn't have to relate to high pitched or meanly growled sounds. At times the Manowar influence is too obvious, the occasional high screams are very Eric Adams like, but Wizard manage to remain a continental European attitude.

With all the songs clocking in at around five minutes, the one hour long album is exactly that: too long. Without the lame concluding ballad Don't Say Goodbye and some less exciting material, this could have been a highlight of German traditional metal music, but still, Magic Circle is not as bad as you would imagine, considering that originality would be considered a crime. The songwriting is mostly compact, with only the dreadful lyrics hindering me to sing along. And if you really happen to fall completely in love with Wizard, how about visiting their website where you can download (and now this is really original) tattoo templates to ornate your body. I only wonder who will do that, apart from the band and their girlfriends?

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