White Wizzard – The Devil’s Cut (Earache Records)Tuesday, 4th June 2013
Album #3 The Devil’s Cut finds White Wizzard with another retooled line-up and trying desperately to keep the revolving door of singers at bay. It’s exasperating trying to figure out who is singing, but Wyatt Anderson, Peter Ellis and Michael Gremio have all took turns under the mic, often leaving Wizzard fans confused. At times the lead singer saga reminds of the troubling issues Anthrax experienced until Belldonna’s return.
Have White Wizzard followed through with a similar feat, bringing in Joseph Michael from Midnight Reign? Only time will tell, but the one notable aspect of the lead singer’s history is that he’s the cousin of Ronnie James Dio. He’s got that going for him, although his range is nowhere near the levels Ronnie was graced with. JM is much grittier and is undoubtedly, a step down from Anderson in some ways, but more accessible in other ways.
The music is heavier and less mellifluous than what ended up on 2011’s Flying Tigers. What you get is the continual push of Maiden-esque harmonies, backed by beefy guitar tones with a slight touch of thrash seeping into some of the riffing. Perhaps it gives off an edgier feel and on tracks like “The Devil’s Cut” and “Torpedo of Truth,” the formula works best.
Whichever the case, White Wizzard are still an interesting entity, and the one good aspect about The Devil’s Cut is the shorter songs. They over-extended themselves at times on Flying Tigers with several cuts that were too long for their own good. Most tracks here are tighter and definitely beefed-up to match Michael’s grit in the vocal department. me a bit at the veracity of tones coming together for that length of time.
Overall, The Devil’s Cut displays more bite and grit than what we have been treated to on past efforts. I feel the biggest disadvantage hurting White Wizzard is the rampant line-up changes, so the core sound is a mixed bag at times. If Leon can keep the current bunch in his employ, then maybe he might actually have a bonafide band on his hands.