WHITE WIZZARD – Infernal Overdrive (Album Review)

White Wizzard - Infernal OverdriveI’ve been listening to White Wizzard for some time now. Years actually. No idea where I first discovered the band, but I was probably drawn in by the misspelling of “wizard”. Anytime a band misspells with Z’s or adds random umlauts over letters, their music is usually great. Now that that’s out of the way, I really didn’t know anything about the outfit before researching a little for this post. Getting going in 2007 and based in Los Angeles California, White Wizzard are driven by bandleader Jon Leon. Looks like Leon handles bass, guitars and even vocals for a couple of years (2014-2016). As if that’s not enough, he’s also the songwriter. It really seems that Jon Leon is the White Wizzard.

White Wizzard has issued two EPs and three full-length albums ahead of Infernal Overdrive due January 12, 2018, courtesy of M-Theory Audio. The EPs, White Wizzard in 2008 and High Speed GTO in 2009 are essentially the same. One track name changed (“Iraq Attack” became “Red Desert Skies”) and a bit of a different play order. In 2010 we got full-length Over the Top, Flying Tigers in 2011 and The Devil’s Cut in 2013. Lineup stability is an issue for this True American Metal band as each album is basically a totally new lineup save Leon. Vocalist Wyatt “Screaming Demon” Anderson has appeared on a couple White Wizzard releases and is back here again for Infernal Overdrive. Also returning to the mix, we get classic member James J. LaRue (guitars) and Dylan Marks (drums).

WHITE WIZZARD – Infernal Overdrive

The album is loaded with thrashy true metal anthems that are sure to please fans of White Wizzard as well as the genre. It will come to us courtesy of White Wizzard‘s new label deal with M-Theory Audio and helmed once again by producer Ralph Patlan (MegadethUFOFlotsam and Jetsam). Vaulting off the starting line with the title track that just rips by leaving a wake of sore necks, Leon and company are taking no prisoner. Track two, “Storm the Shores”, is probably my choice for best of the lot here. Such a catchy refrain that I found myself mumbling long after listening. The shortest cut, “Pretty May” rocks right along in the same vein.
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And now the epics begin. The next five of six to round out the album all have a runtime over six minutes. And 6:17 (“Cocoon”) is the runt of the litter. Two over eight minutes (“Chasing Dragons”, “Critical Mass”), one over nine minutes (“Voyage of the World Raiders”) and one at a whopping eleven-minute playtime (“The Illusion’s Tears”). Grab a sandwich for that barn burner. The last of those six is “Metamorphosis”, no slouch being north of four minutes itself and possessing a progressive tinge to it.

While I’ve enjoyed every White Wizzard release, it seems clear that this more classic roster have an undefinable chemistry. This alongside some maturity has resulted in what I would peg as White Wizzard‘s most cohesive effort to date! The scathing vocals provided by Anderson just meld perfectly with the instrumentation supplied by Leon, Marks and LaRue.

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icon_001Cheers,

The Meister

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