Welcome to Throwback Thursday! This is the place where we get to indulge in nostalgia and wax poetic about excellent metal of years past. TBT numbero 76 is a special one, folks! For the first time ever I was unable to pick just one release from a band to feature for this column. Generally, selections fall under two categories: under-rated and/or influential albums – and today a separation couldn't be made.
For Demons & Wizards, these two album picks comprise the entirety of the band's discography. Demons & Wizards and Touched By the Crimson King, though recorded 5 years apart, are both equally insightful and memorable. Listening to one after the other feels like watching Terminator & Terminator 2; satisfying, fluid, and hard to argue which one is better. So if you're in the mood for magical metal, look no further than…
DEMONS & WIZARD'S DEMONS & WIZARDS
AND TOUCHED BY THE CRIMSON KING
DEMONS & WIZARDS Release Date AND Label: February 2000, Steamhammer
TOUCHED BY THE CRIMSON KING Release Date AND Label: June 2005, Warner Music Group
Re-releases: June 7th, 2019 on Century Media
Demons & Wizards is much more than a side project for mythical metal makers Hanzi Kursch and John Schaffer. These modern musical icons have decided to re-master and re-release Demons & Wizards's iconic two albums, Demons & Wizards and Touched By the Crimson King, in June of this year. The re-release on vinyl comes from listening to fan demands, as the first copies of these albums were picture-disc only and are rather expensive on trading marketplaces such as Ebay and Discogs. You can see more about the re-release from Kursch and Schaffer here:
With the unbelievable announcement that Demons & Wizards are embarking on their first-ever North American tour this summer (as Demons & Wizards and not as Blind Guardian or Iced Earth), fans could barely catch their breath before even better news came. Demons & Wizards are recording a new album – their first in over 15 years.
Demons & Wizards was born of Kursch and Schaffer's friendship and musicianship. The two jammed together one evening and the band was effortlessly born. Toying with the idea of blending the darker influence of Iced Earth and the 'grinning' photos from Blind Guardian, the concept Demons & Angles became Demons & Wizards (borrowed from the title of an older Uriah Heep album). While the band was created in a magical, synergistic state, there was a question of whether the two could write music for this project while being so geographically apart. Having found a way to accomplish this, Kursch quipped "In the long run everything ran extremely relaxed – quite different than with Blind Guardian, haha."
If you're in the mood for unique and memorable metal crafted by two visionaries within the genre, look no further than Demons & Wizards.