Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Wizards cultivate The Exit Garden

Formed in 2013, Spanish band The Wizards, have now unleashed upon the world, their fourth album of metallic rock The Exit Garden, with roots in Sabbath, Priest and UFO. The line-up may not sound that Spanish (Ian Mason – Vocals, George Dee – Guitars, Phil The Pain – Guitars, Baraka Boy – Bass, Dave O. Spare – Drums ) but, as music transcends boundaries and borders, who cares?

Their last album Rise of the Serpent, showed a band rapidly evolving into a truly cohesive entity with an identity of their own. This continues on the new release which, according to the band “Is the place where the souls live, a place of Dream and Myth. It is also a place of Death. We like that place. It‘s exuberant and wild, but also quiet and easy.” Sounds like a lot of places I could mention.

Opening the album is the title track which starts nice and gentle with an Ash feel over subtle keys, then the rock a la Priest/Maiden kicks in and it sounds like NWOBHM never went away (it didn’t!) Sabbath influences also show as Ian channels his inner Ozzy for a great 70s-fueled rock song of quality. Next up is a song with the same title as their 2017 album, ‘Full Moon in Scorpio’ which also brings the 70s bang up to date with a Sabbath-tinged slab of heavy rock. Consistently solid riffs and solos abound.

‘Equinox of Fire’ is an object lesson in writing nostalgic-sounding rock while keeping it fresh and new, even while ticking the Sabbath and Priest boxes. It’s not all rapid fire: ‘Questions’ provides quiet and subtle rock for a couple of minutes before it reverts to mid-paced quality heavy rock. Similarly, after a clever, short drum intro ‘Crawling Knights’ stays calm and measured until, halfway through, it becomes heavy and measured. The closing song, ‘Dawn of Another Life’ is all calm but it draws you in and, even without driving bass or drums it holds your attention.

Okay, The Wizards aren’t delivering anything earth-shatteringly new but, when you get 70s tinted rock of this quality, who gives a flying one? This is heavy rock is structured with the essence of our heroes but with a character and twist of its own and therefore well worth seeking out.

The Exit Garden is available now via High Roller Records

Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon
North East born, South West domiciled music lover - mainly heavy rock & blues but not averse to other genres. I'm fortunate to have retired early & I can now take full advantage of the 40+ years I have spent collecting, listening, watching & playing (badly) & have enjoyed researching how blues in particular has shaped the music we know & love today. Now if only I could get my Strat & Musicman to sound in reality how they do in my head!

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Formed in 2013, Spanish band The Wizards, have now unleashed upon the world, their fourth album of metallic rock The Exit Garden, with roots in Sabbath, Priest and UFO. The line-up may not sound that Spanish (Ian Mason - Vocals, George Dee - Guitars,...The Wizards cultivate The Exit Garden