Over The Top
posted on 1/2010 By:
White Wizzard are the little puppy dogs of metal. Bounding with youthful energy and enthusiasm, there is something so innocent and loveable about them, that you really don't mind having to deal with them occasionally shitting on your carpet.
Under a year since their High Speed GTO E.P., a collection of older songs; with older members, Over the Top marks the Los Angelian quintet officially settling down and getting on with it, with new songs and a solidified line-up. The addition of vocalist Wyatt “Screamin' Demon” Anderson is most notable; the owner of a set of pipes that could wear out Super Mario, his contribution brings an extra ten percent to the intensity of White Wizzard, giving them that bit of extra leverage over bands like Ravage.
John Leon's bass still runs the show from the floor and there is no shortage of big-hearted guitar duels and naturally occurring lead parts, as each instrument remains spaced and balanced almost perfectly. Although nothing does and possibly ever will top their breakthrough number “High Speed GTO”, the band are still pumping out those frantic metal anthems, such as “40 Deuces” and “Strike of the Viper”, designed to be enjoyed from the seat of an open top classic American car - wind blowing through your hair and not a care to who is actually driving.
The freedom and fashionless approach White Wizzard have to their craft is admirable and enviable. Cliche lyrics and several violations of my “fire/desire” rule become cheeky characteristics, instead of embarrassing earsores that less charismatic bands would never get away with. I dare even suggest this band have the power to fill a void in the hearts of us who weren't old enough to witness the NWOBHM, especially with the unexpected epic “Iron Goddess of Vengeance” that chimes back to some of Maiden's early story book epics like “Powerslave” and “To Tame a Land.”
But to put Over the Top into perspective, it's not until the final track entitled “White Wizzard” that White Wizzard pull off what they should have done a bit earlier. Intuitive and defiant, it takes off after about three minutes into an indescribable foray of inspired riffage and drum aggression, closing the album with what sounds like a traditionally metal and scale-running take on Opeth's “Fair Judgement” outro. It's slightly breathtaking and rather upsettingly leaves you with the same feeling last year's E.P. left...
...that was promising, the next one should be the mutt's nuts.
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