WIZARD - "BOUND BY METAL" (B.O. RECORDS)
B.O. Records is a record label that seems to cater solely for the Teutonically inclined that cannot get their kicks just buying all the Manowar and Saxon (etc.) albums. It is well known that there's been a resurgence of 'traditional heavy metal', lead especially by a bunch of German bands. There are good ones among them and there are decidedly average ones present. Wizard, let's cut to the chase, belong in the latter category.
The mere fact that the bio finds it necessary to mention that Sacred Steel and Holy Moses recorded at the same studio, and that the album cover was made by the same guy who did Stormwitch and Mystic Circle covers, well, that should already warn you enough. It's like saying that Kurt Cobain could have done a good guitar solo if Yngwie Malmsteen had happened to do a Number One in the same McDonalds where Kurt had eaten a McMuffin. Come on, this is useless information. What you end up with is a nice cover design for an album that was recorded in a good studio. That's where the good things, sadly, end.
Wizard don't just go back to the days gone by when it was fashionable to sing about steel, swords and dragons, no, they take their actual sound quality there too. But I doubt that, even if the album had sounded right, any of the tracks would have pleased me. Musically it's pretty unoriginal, and there was only one instance where I thought, "hey, that's a cool track". That just doesn't cut it for this mediocre Manowar clone.
Written May 1999
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