Demons & Wizards are a power metal band ‘side-project’ of Blind Guardian vocalist, Hansi Kürsch, and the Iced Earth guitarist, Jon Schaffer.
They released two albums, the self titled Demons and Wizards in 2000 and the follow-up, The Crimson King in 2005. Dormant since then, they group are back and planning to release new music as well as perform live.
Ahead of all that though they’re re-releasing their earlier albums full remastered with some additional content added in. First up was the remastered version of the self titled album, Demons and Wizards out on June 7th via Century Media Records. You can read our review of that record here.
Up next though is the remaster of Touched By the Crimson King. A title that immediately gets me excited being a fan of Stephen King’s epic Dark Tower story.
Demons and Wizards certainly showcase the epic side of things with a bombastic start. So much so that if it wasn’t for the drum style, it would be easy to think this was a Blind Guardian track especially with Hansi’s distinct vocals.
Not to worry though as there is plenty of the Iced Earth influences layered throughout too. The likes of Terror Train and Dorian showcases their style of impressive riff power.
On the whole, this album sounds and feels like a step up for the band. Far smoother and tighter, overall it is far more appealing. There’s also fair bit more variety between faster/heavier tracks and more melodic ballads.
It’s a much improved album and certainly reflects the growth in Demons and Wizards.
Whereas the re-release of the debut came with two bonus tracks, Touched By the Crimson King comes with 10! A slow version of Wicked Witch and 9 demos of songs that appeared on the album. A nice bonus for long-term fans more then anything else.
Demons and Wizards – Touched By the Crimson King Full Track Listing:
1. Crimson King
2. Beneath These Waves
3. Terror Train
4. Seize the Day
5. The Gunslinger
6. Love’s Tragedy Asunder
7. Wicked Witch
9. Down Where I Am
10. Immigrant Song
11. Lunar Lament
12. Spatial Architects
13. Wicked Witch (Slow Version)
14. Terror Train (Demo)
15. Beneath These Waves (Demo)
16. Seize the Day (Demo)
17. Spatial Architects (Demo)
18. Down Where I Am (Demo)
19. The Gunslinger (Demo)
20. Until She Comes (Demo)
21. Love’s Tragedy Asunder (Demo)
22. Crimson King (Demo)
You can find all your streaming and order links here.
Demons and Wizards – Touched By the Crimson King: Remastered (Century Media Records)
The Final Score - 8/10