White Wizzard: Flying Tigers

Classic metal upstarts return with proggy ambitions.

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You have to admire Jon Leon’s single- minded vision because Flying Tigers appears to be virtually all down to him – excepting Wyatt Anderson’s awesome lung power and Giovanni Durst’s battering performance behind the kit.

Leon wrote the entire thing and plays everything else – including the bouzouki – on this follow-up to debut Over the Top.

Leon’s devotion to the path of true metal is plain for all to hear and the result is engrossing and ambitious, with the first half of the album a selection of fist-banging anthems and the second half – Starman’s Son – an overblown conceptual melodrama about aliens and the evolution of mankind.

Musically, the NWOBHM influences are all pleasant and correct, with Leon’s inventive riffing bolstered by his uncannily accurate Maidenesque bass gallop. It’s all so fantastically energetic you’ll probably break into a devil-horn-throwing sweat just listening to it in the car on the way to Tesco.

Essi Berelian

Whether it’s magazines, books or online, Essi has been writing about rock ’n’ metal for around thirty years. He has been reviews editor for Classic Rock and Metal Hammer, rock reviews editor for lads mag Front and worked for Kerrang!. He has also written the Rough Guide to Heavy Metal and contributed to the Rough Guide to Rock and Rough Guide Book of Playlists, and the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (13th edition). Most fun interview? Tenacious D – Jack Black and Kyle Gass – for The Pick of Destiny movie book. An avid record/CD/tape collector, he’s amassed more music than he could ever possibly listen to, which annoys his wife no end.