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Icarus Witch

Company: Cleopatra
Release: 2012
Genre: Traditional
Rating: 4
Reviewer: EC

  • Catchy, hook laden and never dull

  • Lots of changes all around for this group of American upstarts. Its' hard to call the band new after eight years of touring and recording, now into the band's fourth full length album and third for Cleopatra Records (remember when that label was Goth?). 2012 brings Icarus Witch into Iced Earth motion sickness, this being the fifth total recording from the group ('04 was just an EP) and the fifth different drummer. Now we have Tom Wierzbicky riding the stool and we aren't done there. Major changes internally as the band part ways with vocalist Matthew Bizilia, the talented singer called it quits with the band to move onto something solo with Witch's previous guitarist in Steve Pollick (he left after 07's "Songs For The Lost). Replacing Bizilia is another fine talent in Christopher Shaner (from whereabouts unknown). The group also has a new guitarist in Dave Watson who combines with Quinn Lukas and founding member/bassist Jason Myers. So there you have it..."As The World Turns" done Icarus Witch style and another American band that can't seem to push straight through the door and remain as a solid piece of steadfast progression.

    So "Rise" comes to us with the absolute sexiest album cover of the year. We get the obligatory black and white cover and a new logo for the band but who's noticing when you have a half-naked woman riding a broom in front of a mirror? With all of these changes it's no wonder the band seems fresh and invigorated. This is the best that Icarus Witch has sounded since 2004 and long gone are the battle -weary medieval themes of the band. These Pennsylvania natives leave it to Germany to paint us R.A. Salvatore, instead this new record enlightens by delving deep into Euro hard rock and AOR, never quite committing to one or the other but still rock steady behind Shaner's crystal clean vocal range. This album is just a really good listen from start to finish, something I can throw on anytime and not be beaten senseless with galloping riffs overdone with pounding double bass. Icarus Witch have joined bands like Destrophy in capturing a modern hard rock feel cross referenced by decades of heavy metal tradition. This is catchy, hook laden and never dull and I hope more and more US metal bands can embrace this sort of clean and polished maturity. Icarus Witch are like a new Queensryche, thought provoking with tons of positive energy and fluid movement captured perfectly on disc.

    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.

    All reviews for Icarus Witch:
    RiseIcarus Witch
    Eric Compton9/28/2012
    Roses On White LaceIcarus Witch
    Eric Compton4/7/2005
    Songs For The LostIcarus Witch

    All interviews for Icarus Witch:

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