Demons & Wizards – Touched by the Crimson King
SPV – SPV 80000843 – June 28th, 2005
By Jason Jordan
I’m not much of an Iced Earth
junkie, nor do I align myself with Blind Guardian
, which means that my purchase of Demons & Wizards
was based on, well, randomness I guess. To this day, I’m not exactly sure why I was led to Demons & Wizards’s
debut album other than the fascinating cover art. Fast-forward five years and the world is nearly on the brink of Touched by the Crimson King
, which is the second full-length record that fails to enrapture me, much like the original outing.
After a night of heavy drinking, I literally puked all over Touched by the Crimson King
, but don’t extract the wrong idea from those unfortunate set of circumstances. No, Schaffer (Iced Earth
), Kursch (Blind Guardian
), and miscellaneous others haven’t crafted anything
that deserves to bathe in my alcohol-soaked vomit. I mean, “Crimson King” kicks in with power metal glory and speedily acquires substantial ground with its epic chorus lines and blender-esque drumming courtesy of Jarzombek. “Beneath These Waves,” the second in line, has nice riffage in place – though “Terror Train” elevates the tempo in the vein of “Crimson King,” and adds casual-yet-frenetic effects that work well. The ballad “Seize the Day” carries the cross from there until turning over jurisdiction to “The Gunslinger,” which seemingly begins as a ballad itself until morphing into a fast number. During the album’s midsection, the juxtaposition between full-on, speedy power metal and acoustic-driven, ballad sequences is unapologetically explored. And, the musical performances are all spot-on, as one would undoubtedly expect from those involved with veterans Iced Earth
and Blind Guardian
. There’s also quite the whimsical inclusion in an obvious cover version of Led Zeppelin’s
“Immigrant Song,” which sounds good when saturated with distortion.
Touched by the Crimson King
does further what the duo did with their first incarnation – Demons & Wizards
– but it’s mostly unappetizing unless you’re a tried-and-true fan of all mentioned bands. However, you can certainly do worse than Demons & Wizards
and, at this rate, we’ll only receive installments in five-year increments.
Official Demons & Wizards Website
Official SPV Website