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Black Magic - 80%

DeathRiderDoom, May 24th, 2009

Dark Wizard – EP

This little piece of unknown Dutch heavy metal is steeped in NWOBHM, with a slight departure in heaviness and evil-ism. Netherlandic act Dark Wizard are a classy, yet often under-acknowledged group of lads that craft a memorable collection of tracks with a distinctive sound on this dark battle-hardened EP. Five songs is a great number for EPs, with your standard being four – so extra marks for that.

All songs are pretty strong, with even the slow starting and lamely monikered ‘Mr Nice’ providing some later thrills, with a Sabbath feel and evil, corrupted feel to it – in conjunction with some great production. What sticks out in this song is the driving thumpiness of the rhythm section, with some skilled stick antics courtesy of Tony White. The drums are mixed really well – sounding thunderous and adding a boisterous tone to the songs.

The opener ‘Poisoned Whiskey’ is an uproarious, Motorhead-esque affair, with all the spine shattering riffage of the British act and a lot of NWOBHM –type attitude and subject matter. Writing songs about whiskey is pretty 70’s hard rock, but a very well done effort with this cut.

Your title track here is an awesomely powerful number that carries on the Motorhead/’Sabbath heavy sound with some more horror/darkness attached to it. The intro is haunting, with some Dio era Sabbath touches courtesy of the Geezer Butlerishness of the bass. This one evidences some real hungriness and intensity on behalf of the five-piece. Berto Van Veen’s vocals reach some soaring heights, while the guitars come through with some great layering and real genuine energy. A favourite of mine with a lot going on, and a great narrative.

This EP features as a great lead up to the bands seminal full-length, and marks yet another strong 1984 release, making the year of my birth a real winner for metal. All songs on this one feature a low tuned sound with prominent Sabbathness on bass a surplus of power that is not limited to the kinetic energy and lightning contained in the slower number ‘Typhoon’ with its references to vampires flying in the sky – phenomenal. Tracks like the aforementioned have incredible, unbridled energy, executed with the right touches of melody making for a memorable number by anyone’s standards. A must for collectors of classic metal.

-DeathRiderDoom