ALBUM: White Wizzard – Flying Tigers

Release Date: September 19th, 2011
Label: Earache Records
Website: None available


(Read this paragraph with an infomercial-style voice in your head) Calling all heavy metal fans: are you one of those people that love Iron Maiden, but can’t afford to re-mortgage your house just so you can buy tickets? Are you looking for a new and more update version of your favourite band? Then look no further, for White Wizzard are just what you need. No, I don’t mean the guy from Lord Of The Rings, I mean the LA traditional heavy metal band. Having been around the scene for a few years now, they will guarantee to satisfy all your metal needs. (Not a guarantee).

Just the name White Wizzard conjures up images of long hair, leather trousers and a denim jacket with more patches than an AIDS quilt. Not surprising really, when the band was started as a middle finger to all the “screamo and angsty music out there”. It’s good that their keeping the traditional metal sound fresh though, considering the only other bands that are either nearly dead or Steel Panther.

‘Flying Tigers’ is their second album, named after WWII American air force crew (which explains the album cover). The first half of the album is a random collection of bloody good songs that embraces all the traditional heavy metal aspects, but the last half of the album is where they come into their own. The final six tracks form a story and are a much more progressive and heavy sound too, and are by far the best songs on the album.

Upon first listen, I was just going through the motions thinking ‘yeah, it’s good, but it’s been done before’. Opening with something that sounds like it’s from some California punk band, ‘Fight To The Death’ comes across as traditional heavy metal with a modern twist (how cliché is that last sentence?), but as soon as ‘Fall Of Atlantis’ kicks in, it just gets better and better and better. I felt like slapping myself for making such a poor initial judgement.

‘Flying Tigers’ is a breath of fresh air in today’s metal genre. Compared with other bands out now, it’s so refreshing to listen to a breakdown that doesn’t go ‘DUN DUN DUN DUN… DUDUDUN… DUDUDUN… DUDUDUN DUDUDUN’ over and over. One of the best sounding and constructed albums I have heard in a long time. If you are a fan of good ol’ heavy metal, this is very potentially your new favourite album.

Written by Andy Roberts