Demons And Wizards - Touched By The Crimson King
27 June 2005

Disc I
01. Crimson King
02. Beneath These Waves
03. Terror Train
04. Seize The Day
05. The Gunslinger
06. Love's Tragedy Asunder
07. Wicked Witch
08. Dorian
09. Down Where I Am
10. Immigrant Song [Led Zeppelin cover]

Disc II [Digipak bonus]
01. Lunar Lament
02. Wicked Witch [slow version]
03. Spatial Architects
04. Beneath These Waves [radio edit version]

Here is finally the second album from Demons And Wizards, after 4 years of silence and a logical silence since the combo is no other than a common project of two very busy musicians, namely Jon Schaffer from Iced Earth and Hansi Kürsch from Blind Guardian. I've been a Blind Guardian fan for years now while I was into Iced Earth until "Horror Show" ruined my mood, and Hansi is my ultimate favorite singer ever, so I was expecting this album with high hopes. Maybe, too high.

From the first listen, one can already hear that the formula hasn't really changed with a production that emphasizes everything but the drums, which sound more like a background rhythm. The main advantage of that is having the riffing of Jon and the vocals of Hansi straight in your face [well, your hears actually].

The opening track, 'Crimson King', is their most elaborate song to date and appears to be the favorite of many already. With strong, raw guitar riffs and first class vocals from master Hansi. 'Beneath These Waves' continues in the same direction with a slower tempo but a catchier structure. At this point into the album, one has to pinpoint that Hansi's vocal abilities have even improved since their first album and that unlike previously fewer layers of his voice are superposed at one given time, giving a rare clarity to the main melody. 'Terror Train' sounds like pure Iced Earth with a way better singer and constitute an impressive trilogy of songs with 'Crimson King' and 'Beneath These Waves'.

The album is full of ballads and mid-tempo melodies with 'Seize The Day' [with a reminiscence of Iced Earth's 'Watching Over Me'], 'Love's Tragedy Asunder', 'Wicked Witch' and 'Down Where I Am' contrasting with their more energetic first album.

Some surprises are in stock with a great cover of Led Zeppelin's 'Immigrant Song' and for those fortunate enough to grab the special edition version of the album, 'Lunar Lament', which sounds like it could be straight from the sessions from 2001.

On the other hand, some other songs just don't do anything for me such as 'The Gunslinger' and 'Dorian'. They sound like recycled pieces from "Horror Show". They are there, they are somewhat okay, nothing more.

At the end of the day, "Touched By The Crimson King" is a good album but it lacks the homogeneity of their first masterpiece. It hosts the same formula, great riffing with excellent vocals, which is very unlikely to change your view on the project Demons And Wizards. If you liked the first album, you'll dig that one to a slightly lower level and if you though that it sounded like the same Iced Earth riffs over and over again, well, that's what you'll hear once more.

Highlights: 'Crimson King', 'Beneath These Waves', 'Seize The Day', 'Lunar Lament'

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 8

Band profile: Demons And Wizards
Album: Touched By The Crimson King


Written on 26.07.2005 by
Demonic Tutor
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Staff review by

"Is it possible to see one day the release of a new album of the magical German/American combo Demons And Wizards?". Lately, it was one of the big questions of our little Heavy Metal world and the answer, we know it today, is "yes!!!". I have the luck, only 4 years after "Demons And Wizards", to have in my hand their new excellent album "Touched By The Crimson King" and don't worry fans, they're still the same great artists and no doubt that we will talk about their new release this year hooo yes…

published 16.06.2005 | Comments (0)

Guest review by
Arian Totalis

The Second album released by Demons and Wizards, this album is quite amazing. This was released five years after their debut, which is understandable, considering that Hansi Kursch and Jon Schaefer are normally so busy with their main bands. But I must admit, when that chemistry is repressed for so long, the results are explosive, and this album is a testament to that. "Touched By The Crimson King" is an album conceptually based off of the classic book series by Stephen King "The Dark Tower." It is not a true concept album however, seeing as how certain songs do not pertain to the dark tower, such as "Dorian" or "Spacial Architects." With creative and constructive juices brewing in these two power metal master's brains, the outcome is fantastic.

published 16.07.2007 | Comments (6)


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Uirapuru - 27.04.2010 at 20:59  
Well, this is the review I most agree when it comes to the rating But I dont think their first album was a masterpiece.. everything is just good about this band according to my tastes.

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