Whilst it has been bubbling away for a number of years in small pockets around the world, a resurgence of New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWBHM) style bands are finally starting to poke their heads into the more mainstream metal world. White Wizzard from LA are leading the charge from an American perspective.
Listening to Infernal Overdrive I’m pretty sure I won something, not sure what, but I have definitely won something! Formed in 2007 by vocalist James Luna, Guitarist James LaRue, bassist Jon Leon and Drummer Tyler Meahl as a reaction to an over saturation of trendy metal bands (their bio makes mention of “thrashy glam” bands, but I’m going to go ahead and also point to “core” bands here also) White Wizzard are really bringing back the early 80s late 70s NWBHM aesthetic with a modern musical twist.
Infernal Overdrive is album number 5 for these guys and listening back through their previous albums this is BY FAR more polished and seemingly the final realization of their planned musical direction.
White Wizzard sound like a perfect mix of Iron Maiden, Saxon, Grim Reaper and most obviously Painkiller era Judas Priest. Vocalist Luna channels Rob Halford without ripping him off, the foundations of instrumentation is firmly set in “Killers” era Iron Maiden however there is a lot of modern prog influence as heard on the songs “Cocoon” and “Metamorphosis with almost Jazzy down tempo passages.
The production on Infernal Overdrive, for mine, is pretty much flawless. With the perfect mix of the afore mentioned Killers sound but with very clean modern production every instrument is in sharp focus and doesn’t sound over produced and artificial (actual drums, real guitar amps).
Songs like “Storm The Shores” “Infernal Overdrive” Pretty May” and “Critical Mass” are storming examples of what can be done by taking a genre that has run its course and adding both modern production and your own original style you can create something that is both very familiar yet very new.
Infernal Overdrive is an awesome ride through ideas old and new, executed flawlessly, I’m keen to see White Wizzard on the road over the next few years and if this album is anything to go by, we are all going to be hearing much more about these guys in the coming years.
Get your copy of Infernal Overdrive HERE!