Due to the fact that I have a great liking for sHeavy, I was very interested in the first self-titled album of WIZARDS OF KAOS, because that is the new band of original sHeavy guitarist Dan Moore who left his former group in 2009. Unfortunately I missed the debut EP 'New World Mistress', but this album compensates for some of the things I have to do without. Released by Diminished Fifth Records in May 2012, this silver disc is studded with crunchy riffs and irresistible hooks. Although there are moments where WIZARDS OF KAOS evoke memories of Dan Moore's previous band (by this I mean the Black Sabbath vibe), they are cooking up quite a different dish.
Here, traditional heavy metal and 1970's hard rock are taken as main ingredients in most of the included 13 songs, but there are also some surprises to discover. For one thing, WIZARDS OF KAOS is less backward-looking than expected. It's rather the case that their brand of metal-soaked hard rock has a 1970's feel to it, but actually there are some other subtle influences beneath their music so that I am thrown onto different tangents everytime I listen to it. On that occasion it is noticeable that WIZARDS OF KAOS love to flirt with 1980's thrash metal as for example in 'Digging Up Our Dead' or 'Pain & Misery'. I have to say that all these different influences have been skillfully combined in an organic way.
During the whole album, Dan Moore keeps the energy levels high with hard driving guitar riffs, and I have to say that I really like his clear yet raspy voice. He manages to infuse the music with a lot of personality, whether it be his cool guitar playing or his vocals. Well, it's not that I have anything against the other guys of the band, but it's obvious that Dan Moore is the star of the show. Just listen to 'The Great Shadow' and 'The River', which are both based on powerful grooves and churning riffs. But on the whole WIZARDS OF KAOS is not stingy with melodies without being too pushy, and therefore this album grew on me with every listen. Now I really enjoy it a lot. From now on, WIZARDS OF KAOS is on my radar and I can only hope they get the attention they deserve. So, If you want an energized heavy riff feast, then purchase a copy.