DARK WIZARD - Vroomshoop (Overijssel, NL) 198? - 199?

DARK WIZARD was called a black metal band in their days. No, they didnít sound like VENOM or SLAYER. They played heavy metal with lots of melodies. But DARK WIZARD was called black metal, because they were singing about Satan and had a horror image. The band built up quite a reputation, because of this horror show. It contained monsters, who were called Mr Nice and Dr Doom, who came out of coffins on stage. Next to that, the band used a lot of fire and bombs on stage as well. You can imagine that a DARD WIZARD show was quite an experience. Musically, the band released four demos before something on vinyl was released. Their first demo showed the fans what DARK WIZARD was all about: Well made heavy metal with really great bass playing from Kees Reinders. "Demo 2" is a live demo, which captured a bit of their live energy although releasing a video perhaps would be a better idea knowing their show on stage. Anyway, the tracks "Scared", "Zombie", "Poisened Whiskey", "Revelation", "Dark Master Of Thunder", "Bloodlust", "Paradise" and "Concrete Way" are great songs, but itís played a bit too messy and untight. The guitar solo from Hans Pol is mixed in to fill up the gaps it seems. On their third three track demo, itís clear the band was getting better and better. The demo opens with "Dark Wizard", including a great solo from Hans Pol it. "Paradise" is a bit faster and last song "Atomic" is more of a mid tempo song. All great, typical DARK WIZARD songs. In the same year, 1983, the band released the "Only A Coffin" demo, the demo, which took the band a huge step up the ladder. Mausoleum got interested and signed the band. And that results their first vinyl release; in 1984 the Mini LP "Devilís Victim" is released. It was in fact the "Only The Coffin" demo plus one new song, entitled "Big Typhoon". Then, at the end of 1984, guitarist Hans Pol got replaced by George Gomies. Mausoleum offered the band to make a full-length LP this time. With Marcel de Groot replacing George Gomies the band moves in the studio and records the "Reign Of Evil" album and released it in 1985. A great album with lots of great songs on it like "Mortal Agony" and "Death Struggle Thriller", but a highlight for many fans is "Evil Spirit", a dark BLACK SABBATH style song, which showed the band from its darkest side. Again, the great bass playing from Kees is an absolute highlight. The album gets good reviews, but nothing more seems to happen. They got in trouble with Mausoleum (like many other bands) and the new search for a label starts. Unfortunately without success. The band still writes new songs which they play live. A song like "Damned To The Eternal Torture", written in 1986, is a absolute great song, especially if you like galloping heavy metal!! But the band doesnít get the chance to record and release it. At the end of the 80s the band quits. Mausoleum records released a CD version of "Reign Of Evil" in 1991 as part of their Classics series. In 2004 the song "Mortal Agony" appears on the "HM Maniacs Vol.3" compilation and Mausoleum have plans to release a new CD release of the DARK WIZARD stuff again. We let you know, if there is a release date confirmed. After DARK WIZARD the guys moved on and played in several bands (mostly cover bands). Singer Berto van Veen went from "Hell To Heaven" and joined the notorious Griffioen cult, a fanatic group of Christians with a guru as leader. So you understand a reunion is out of the question, although former JAGANNATH singer Egbert Berents, a DARK WIZARD fan himself, offered the other members to do a reunion with him as singer in 2005. Sadly they declined it...
(text conducted by Stefan van Zijl)

Berto van Veen Ė vocals
Hans Pol Ė guitars
Marcel de Groot Ė guitars
George Gomies Ė guitars (ex-STRAMP FREE)
Kees Reinders Ė bass
Tony White - drums

*Demo 1 (198?)
*Live Demo (1983)
*3-track demo (1983)
*Only a Coffin (demo 1983)
*When the Hammer Comes Down (compilation tape 1983 with track "Poisened Whiskey")
*Devilís Victim (MLP 1984)
*Reign of Evil (LP 1985)
*Reign of Evil (CD 1991)
*Heavy Metal Maniacs pt. 3 (compilation CD 2004 with track "Mortal Agony")

[various DARK WIZARD live pictures]

[Updated: August 24, 2011]