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Wizards - The kingdom ll 2/5

Reviewed: 7-28-06


1. Slave
2. To believe
3. Bipolar mind
4. Last chance
5. Nobody else
6. By surprise
7. The ville
8. Hei doc
9. Caroline
10. Keep on

Wizards is back with their 5th CD 'The kingdom ll', a follow-up to the previous 'The kingdom'. For those unfamiliar with these Brazilians, their first 3 CDs ('s/t', 'Sound of life' and 'Beyond the sight') never really gained the band popularity and sit on the lighter side of what most of us listen to. Although I don't have any of these first 3 CDs, I do have the compilation 'Best spells', which is a collection of the best songs from these CDs. While a few highlights are present on the CD, it wasn't until their 4th CD 'The kingdom' was released that the band took a step up in both quality and speed. In fact, this is when they entered the power metal genre, drawing comparisons to Angra, Orion Riders, Eyes of Shiva, Shaman, Aquaria, Glory Opera, Steel Rage, Sagga (Holy) and Arwen.

But although 'The kingdom' is a good CD, was distributed well and grabbed the attention of most fans of the Brazilian power metal style, it isn't considered one of the best CDs in the style, and instead is one that simply showed a lot of promise. With 'The kingdom ll', the band has stayed with the same musical formula, a sound that doesn't contain the strong symphonic elements that's heard with Angra, Glory Opera, Orion Riders and Aquaria, nor the keyboard dominance that Sagga (Holy) and Arwen offer. Instead, Wizards is a lot more straightforward.

Unfortunately, 'The kingdom ll' isn't going to take the band up to the next level. Although track 1 "Slave" (possibly the best on the CD) and track 2 "To believe" are very good fast-paced power metal songs, track 3 "Bipolar mind" and track 4 "Last chance" are just okay. The weak vocals at the beginning of the slow track 5 "Nobody else" make for 3 below average songs in a row. Track 6 "By surprise" thankfully picks up the speed and has a great chorus, and although track 7 "The ville" has a poor start, it too ends up being another song with a memorable chorus. However, track 8 "Hei doc" is uninteresting and even has a slight rock feel. Things continue on the downslope with the ballad "Caroline", which does absolutely nothing for me. The CD does end on a good note with the upbeat "Keep on", but overall it's a far distance away from being excellent.

Also, while a CD with a short length is usually not a bad thing for me, the running time of under 40 minutes is another unsatisfyling aspect with 'The kingdom ll'. Many of the songs are much too short and I've found that I'm not even given the chance to get into them. Only a few nice choruses will make this a decent purchase for those who have (and are really into) 'The kingdom'. This is certainly not a bad CD, but the promise we heard with 'The kingdom' is nearly gone and the band is going to have to make a strong comeback to get headed in the right direction.




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