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Demons and Wizards - Demons & Wizards (1999)

I first got Demons & Wizards when I was a kid and absolutely mad about Blind Guardian. I admit that I couldn't get into this CD at all, everything except Heaven Denies seemed bleak and uninteresting. Some time passed and I managed to discover that the project of Schaffer-Kursch is not quite so boring and primitive and even has got some extra dimensions if compared to both BG and IE. Technically speaking, D&W is Iced Earth's galloping riffs vs. the incredible vocal performance by Hansi Kursch, one of the best singers in the metal scene. But on top of this technical and musical stuff there's also something I just can't describe in words - there's always something beyond understanding in the albums you really like. D&W have got a strange kind of magic in their debut (and even stronger emotions in the sophomore effort), something more than plain catchiness that you would expect from your typical power metal album.

This release totally consists of high-class songs that wouldn't get out of your head for YEARS. There are darker compositions (Winter Of Souls, Tear Down The Wall, Gallows Pole) and some positive-sounding ones (Fiddler, Blood On My Hands, Path Of Glory) with the first part of the album sounding more optimistic than the ending. Demons & Wizards is a grower, just take time to get the essence of it.

Review by Dismayer

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