Demons & Wizards is the collaborative project of Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian) and Jon Schaffer (Iced Earth), who present their aptly titled third LP, ‘III’.
Beginning with echoing strings of different guitars and operatic choirs, ‘Diabolic’ has an effective and dramatic introduction that’s swiftly cast aside in a flurry of energetic rhythms and aggressive riffs from Schaffer that have a great and impactful impression. Switching between guttural roars and clean choruses, Kürsch displays an immense breadth of diversity to embrace the unfolding narrative.
Turning to power metal, ‘Wolves In Winter’ maintains a strong rhythmic core while the breaks allow for a decent breathing space when the hair metal vocals get a chance to ring through, each taking the forefront at the appropriate moments to ensure maximum entertainment value.
Tempering the flow to calmer realms, ‘Timeless Spirit’ dials back the distortion and aggression to a mystical and acoustical approach, which acts as a nice break in proceedings. It’s combined with juxtapositions of metal chords and progressive build ups which create a varied and interesting experience that would normally be associated with a climactic ending.
Rather than ending at the appropriate juncture, where progression and combination meet at the appropriate time to call an end to proceedings, things are dragged out for the same amount of time that it becomes miss-able and fades out to the background.
At over an hour long, ‘III’ offers a lot to be consumed in one journey, and after an inspirational start becomes weighed down with the amount of content it produces. Sometimes it’s better to be short, sweet, and packed full of explosive ideas.