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DEMONS & WIZARDS III

By Nathan Dufour, Great White North
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 @ 11:02 AM


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DEMONS & WIZARDS
III

2020, Century Media




A new DEMONS & WIZARDS album is a goddamned event, okay? And Jon Schaffer is a silver fox. Can I go back to listening to it now?

Taking equal parts their main gigs and peppering in influence from classical music as well as even more traditional heavy metals and stretching even into alternative zones (does that mean anything anymore?), III finds DEMONS & WIZARDS an even more dangerous beast than it was when last we heard from them in 2005.

This album is crisp. Like, Polar Bear jump crisp - shockingly cold and effective. I cannot get over the production here - it is simply a joy to behold and enhances the experience of the listener. Where ambition could be curtailed by trying too hard, the mix and engineering morphs and changes tactics as the song dictates, not as the album plays. Just check out “Final Warning” and notice the subdued guitar tones but that they also ebb and flow with Kürsch's vocal delivery, which is expectedly, well, epic, no matter the register used.

Always meant as a vehicle of expression away from BLIND GUARDIAN and ICED EARTH, the version of DEMONS & WIZARDS presented on III is a multi-faceted affair, exploring perhaps more fully than before the various influences the main players bring to the table. Shaffer extends his playing, trying out different flavors for his palette and the rewards are outstanding, “Timeless Spirit” being an excellent example with an almost bluesy guitar lick that grabs the listener right away and doesn’t let go. And let us be clear, this album is 65 minutes long. Remember when that was the standard? And nobody got bored and pushed shuffle on Spotify? III demands your undivided attention. Then, it demands it again, because you missed something.

Get some good headphones. Plug in. DEMONS & WIZARDSIII is worth the 15 year gap and hell, maybe even a longer one though I am glad it isn’t. I should go back to it - I missed something.

4.5 Out Of 5.0

















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