Valtozash – Wizard-Bird

The Australian jazz metal fusion orchestra Valtozash is quite a newcomer, when it comes to their young age as a group, but they’ve already made their marks with their 2016 debut album, Iron Maiden Voyage. Barely more than a year later, they’re back with a sophomore release in Wizard-Bird. For those unaware, the ensemble is quite extensive: five saxophone players, three for trumpets, four trombones, and a vibraphonist all play alongside the traditional guitars-bass-drums trio. On top of that, the track from which the album title is taken features the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra! Through musical humour and a thorough sense of musicality, Valtozash waltz through this fifty-five-minute album and make it feel like merely a breeze, regardless of how dense and recherché their compositions truly are. It’s not that metal, but the influence is undeniable. For most of the time, it sounds like heavy, pounding jazz with interminable interweaving soli and confounding riffs, or themes. It’s a killer record for those who can’t get enough of that sweet, sweet jazz rock.