Seven Witches - Second War In Heaven (Reissue) - 2006 - Crash Music
1. Rising Torches 2. Dying Embers 3. Camelot 4. Nightmare (the Devil Inside) 5. Bewitchment 6. Seven Witches 7. In A Small Childs Room 8. The Chain 9. Scarlet Tears 10. Second War In Heaven 11. Metal Daze
I can honestly remember hearing about this album seven years ago. At the time I had no clue who Jack Frost was, going simply off of the comparison to Iced Earth and the incredible, vivid album cover when ordering this through the now defunct Alta Mira. Once the disc arrived I was really thrown off a bit from my expectations. Bobby "Leather Lungs" Lucas was not quite in the style of the singers I was really into at the time (Conception's Roy Khan, Iced Earth's Matthew Barlow), his style fitting more with the old, traditional routings of Omen, Helstar, and Jag Panzer. It wasn't until 2002 that I started to fully appreciate the sounds of the old, with this record obviously a banner for that style of music.
Seven Witches' first torch lit journey started in 1999 with their debut album "Second War In Heaven". The record was released by Euro only label Massacre Records, who in the early '90s actually had US distribution. By the time this release happened upon metalheads the US had packed up and gone to the airwaves, seeking modern rock and more tribal, nu-metal affairs. "Second War..." did not fall on deaf ears however, as most power metal and traditionalists within the metal confines firmly stood behind the release, obviously absorbed in the band's deep connection with the classic sounds of bands such as Judas Priest, Savatage, and Helstar. Webzines and Euro scholars appreciated the efforts of the band, and soon the Seven Witches movement was planted.
Now nine years later and six successful albums, the band is still burning red hot. This is American metal through and through, Jack Frost leading the pack in a quest to dominate modern music with a sincere appreciation for the building blocks of the classic revolution. His guitar style is one of fat grooves, amazing lead playing, and a good amount of speed when needed. Frost also understands the need for solid, catchy songwriting, always making his cuts the most accessible for any casual metal ear. It is interesting to look back on this record and see the makings of this beast, this well oiled machine that seems to never sputter or miss a stroke. This is absolute brilliance on all levels, and a fantastic debut that still shines to this day.
Now Crash Music has finally given this excellent chunk of metallic greatness its much needed American release. After all these years this record has never been on US shelves. With Crash Music behind the push, "Second War In Heaven" can get the much needed recognition it deserves here in its homeland; the red, white, and blue. For fans who have already picked this record up at some point in its Euro journey, you can still find a few things extra here. For this special release Crash has added three bonus tracks. From the rare Seven Witches demo comes added fuel in "Second War", "Scarlet Tears", and "Seven Witches". Just enough to make this worth buying again, and in all reality the album is so good you will probably need that extra copy.
Bottom Line - This was a revolution and a wake up call for American power metal. A classic album that is getting a special reissue through Crash Music. Take advantage of this opportunity, it was nine years in the making!
Note - Bobby "Leather Lungs" Lucas went on to record one more album with the band before departing for Overlorde. Bassist Billy Mez (Single Bullet Theory) stayed with the group until 2003.
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 contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. 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. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details