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Wizz Wizzard – ‘Where The River Runs Cold’

posted 28 Mar 2016, 13:13 by Paul Woodward

(Rocksector Records)

Review by Woody

Where The River Runs Cold is the second album from Belgian classic metal band Wizz Wizzard. These guys are NWOBHM to the core and have a sound that owes a lot to bands from the late seventies and early seventies of that musical movement. The album has a scuzzy production feel to it which accentuates the retro sound, although rather than low budget I believe this may have been a purposely chosen production job to hark back to the golden age of NWOBHM. After several listens’ I still think I could convince people this album was actually written and recorded in 1979!

I would say Wizz Wizzard veer more towards a hard rock sound on the NWOBHM spectrum than heavy metal and will appeal more to fans of Tygers of Pan Tang and Saxon as opposed to Iron Maiden.

I’ve heard very good things about these guys as a live act but on record they sound very flaccid maybe they are one of those bands whose strengths lie in live performances where the songs take on another dimension and have more impact on listeners. This album is a little to pedestrian and plodding for my tastes. They know their target audience and aim purposefully at that market in their song writing. I think NWOBHM traditionalists will strongly disagree with my opinion on the album as it does tick all the right boxes for fans of the NWOBHM genre.

I have to commend the guys in that they know what they do well and they stick to their guns but to me it comes across as uninspired and fails to excite me as a listener. That said I can’t find much to criticise in the musicianship shown throughout the album, Wizz has a great voice for this style of music, guitarist Smb delivers some of the best moments on the album with his riffs and solo’s and their purposeful rhythm section keep the songs tight. It’s just the songs lack any real bite to warrant any head banging action, let alone repeat listens, songs were instantly forgotten as none of their hooks seemed to work on me.

If you like classic metal, it is worth a listen but I think non genre fans will find it a boring listen.

Track Listing: Crucified / On The Edge Of Desire / Heaven / The Wolf / Live Or Die / World Of Shadows / Rock Lives On / Break Away / Road To Valhalla / Return To Vampires / Wonders Of The World

Album Rating: 5/10

Woody’s Essential Track: The Wolf