--- Country of Origin: United States ---
--- Active Years: 2007-present ---
--- Record Label: Earache Records ---
--- Genres: Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Traditional Heavy Metal ---
--- Similar Artists: Holy Grail, Volture, High Spirits, Oz, Charred Walls Of The Damned, Slough Feg ---
--- Lyrical Themes: Women, Politics, Fantasy ---
--- Influences: Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Scorpions, Rush, UFO, Dio, Thin Lizzy, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen ---
White Wizzard are an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 2007. The band has released two EP's and two albums, Over the Top released in 2010, and Flying Tigers released in 2011.
White Wizzard hails from Los Angeles CA. Tired of the down-tuned screamo metal that seemed to be everywhere, bass player Jon Leon formed White Wizzard in the summer of 2007. The goal was simple - to bring the songwriting, melody and good times back into metal and rock.
Over the next 5 years they released two full length albums 'Over The Top' (2010) and 'Flying Tigers' (2011) along with their debut EP ''High Speed GTO' (2007). They toured the world opening for some of the most renowned names in Heavy Metal and spearheaded the underground movement of the 'New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal'. Unfortunately the band was plagued by numerous line-up changes and found it difficult to build momentum.
Other than original founder Jon Leon the only other member that remained consistent was drummer Giovanni Dürst who joined in 2009. As a graduate of the Berklee College of Music (2006) Dürst incorporated his thrash influences utilizing his advanced double bass technique which has become an important part of the White Wizzard signature sound.
Towards the end of 2011, with multiple tours booked, and another line-up change the band desperately needed a lead guitarist. Enter Jake Dreyer who at the time was studying at Musicians Institute in Hollywood. Dreyer auditioned and two weeks later was touring the world. After being heavily influenced by Shrapnel artists Dreyer had developed a highly advanced 'shred' technique the likes of which White Wizzard had never seen.
Following those tours in the beginning of 2012 the band finalized its 'dual lead guitar' attack with the recruitment of British guitarist Will Wallner. With a more blues based melodic style influenced from guitarists such as Ritchie Blackmore, Wallner offered a much welcomed contrast to Dreyer. Together they could offer the full spectrum of styles and techniques while maintaining their own unique voice within the band. Immediately this partnership was put to test with the recording a new song called 'Torpedo Of Truth'. The song featured more lead guitar solos which was something that had been lacking on previous releases.
This set the tone for a new direction in sound and would sow the seeds for their highly anticipated third full length release. The only problem that remained was the band still hadn't found the right frontman. After returning from a successful trip to Japan they began to search for the perfect singer to complete the line-up. Will Wallner suggested Joseph Micheal who he had worked with prior to joining White Wizzard. His voice instantly grabbed the rest of the bands attention. Not only could Michael offer a powerful voice with a high range but he also had the personality and stage presence needed to front a heavy metal band.
The bands future started to look promising and they immediately toured the US and Canada in the summer of 2012. Word soon began to spread that White Wizzard were back with their strongest line-up to date. Following the tour they began working on a new album to be recorded at beginning of 2013 with long time producer Ralph Patlan. Appropriately titled 'The Devils Cut' the album features the most dynamic and diverse music the band has ever produced. Through years of struggle Jon Leon has matured and grown as a songwriter and now with a permanent line-up of talented musicians it seems his goal may finally come to fruition. 'The Devils Cut' will be released on June 25th via Century Media and Earache records.
The new album from the American metallers is here. “The Devil's Cut” serves as the fresh evidence by the band that bassist Jon Leon formed some six years ago. After a highly acclaimed EP and a couple of follow-up studio LPs, WHITE WIZZARD is back and of course the lineup has changed once again; I do not know if it’s the persona of Leon or other things that went bad all these years in the WHITE WIZZARD camp, but unstable lineups have never helped a band solidify its craftsmanship and expose its true musical goals. Thankfully, this is not the case here... again.
“The Devil's Cut” features a 2-minute instrumental intro and a total number of eight normal cuts while clocking to something more than 50 minutes. Meaning: the songs have a long duration on average, something that’s not usual in a New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal candidate. So, what’s the deal you may ask? Well, the songs in this album feature newcomer guitarists Jake Dreyer and Will Wallner offering lots of work in this section, not only in the riffs parts but also – and mainly – in the leads section. We surely talk about the most technical WHITE WIZZARD album to date here, since the number and aesthetics of solos is of a higher level in regards to the band's previous discography. The riffing section retains it’s assaulting-here-and-melodic-there bipolar orientation but the solos are quite a highlight, offering one path full of total-Metal-influenced arpeggios and shredding, and another path hailing the 70s Hard Rock and bluesy roots of the Heavy Metal district.
Apart from that, the whole album is a nice piece of WHITE WIZZARD music as seen in the past but in a more mature way. Vocalist Joseph Michael seems to be capable of letting his voice become the foreground in each song; he screams were needed but also sings mid-range in adequate song parts. Don’t ask me about the songwriting patterns and Leon’s playing: it’s more or less the same as in any album of the band he fronts, so stick to the interpretations mentioned in the previous paragraph. All in all, “The Devil's Cut” can as well be the most beloved album of the band by fans who like long songs with loaded guitar work inside; not that the other NWOAHM enthusiasts will be let down, of course. It’s the truth I did not expect Leon would find a solution in the lineup section again and offer such a nice album, to say the least. Instead of showing signs of wear, WHITE WIZZARD delivers a CD that will probably make some noise in the traditional Metal world.
The Devil's Cut (2013) -- "Kings Of The Highway"
2008 -- White Wizzard (EP)
2009 -- High Speed GTO (EP)
2009 -- Over The Top (Single)
2010 -- Over The Top (Full-length)
2010 -- Shooting Star (Single)
2011 -- Flying Tigers (Full-length)
2013 -- The Devil's Cut (Full-length)
Current Line-up: Jon Leon -- Bass, Guitars (2007-present) Giovanni Durst -- Drums (2009-present) Jake Dreyer -- Guitars (2011-present) Will Wallner -- Guitars (2012-present) Joseph Michael -- Vocals (2012-present)
Former Members: Tyler Meahl -- Drums (2007-2008) James J. LaRue -- Guitars (2007-2008) James-Paul Luna -- Vocals (2007-2008) Jesse Appelhans -- Drums (2009) Chad Bryan -- Guitars (2009-2010, 2011) Erik Kluiber -- Guitars (2009-2010) Wyatt "Screaming Demon" Anderson -- Vocals (2009-2010, 2011, 2012) Lewis Stephens -- Guitars (2010-2011) Peter Ellis -- Vocals (2010-2011) Michael Gremio -- Vocals (2010, 2011-2012) CJ Cussell -- Guitars (2011-2012) Cory Nagatoshi -- Guitars (2011)
2013 -- The Devil's Cut
01. Forging The Steel -- 02:02
02. Strike The Iron -- 06:45
03. Kings Of The Highway -- 04:40
04. Lightning In My Hands -- 04:44
05. Steal Your Mind -- 07:18
06. The Devil's Cut -- 04:45
07. Torpedo Of Truth -- 06:10
08. Storm Chaser -- 04:16
09. The Sun Also Rises -- 09:34 Total time: 50:20
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