Pardon the pun, but here's Stormwitch another German metal band who's recent history has been more stormy. The band had a rather vigorous out between 1984 and 1994 with seven albums in ten years, but then fell silent. Two more albums came in the early 2000's, with only more silence from the studio to follow. Eleven years later the band returns with Season of the Witch.
Stormwitch is another band that revisits traditional heavy metal, essentially a German version of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. There's a sound mixture of moderate paced heavy metal with the faster side of speed metal, a common characteristic of the genre. As are the twin guitars for riffs, rhythm, and leads. Original member and vocalist Andy Mück has a natural clean metal style. Yet, because of the not so lucid production, his voice takes a beating from the music. That, or at 50 something his pipes aren't what they used to be.
Overall, Season of the Witch is an adequate album of classic heavy metal. In the best sense, it truly does capture the spirit of the genre and history. Alternatively, as much as I love the genre and have been part of the history, I found the album rather uneventful and uninteresting. Nothing really inspired me or leapt from the speakers in such a way that really intrigued me. I can say I enjoyed some songs better than others: Harper In The Wind for it's melody and guitar lines, and Runescape as a lighter metal anthem. Considering specific elements, the guitar lines are likely the best part of the album. But, what respectable classic heavy metal album would not have decent lead guitar solos. So, in the end, I guess I'm simply ambivalent about Season of the Witch. (And the label may be ambivalent too, considering the shitty quality of the album art it authorized.) Yet, I'm sure Stormwitch's long time German fans will dig it, and they should.
Stormwitch's first album in eleven years, Season of the Witch, offers their Eighties style traditional heavy metal, yet leaving this listener uninspired and ambivalent about it.
Resolve marks the return of Allentown's Mindmaze, after a three year hiatus from the studio. Their third album offers a new and stable line up with new drummer Mark Bennett assisting bassist Rich ... [ Read More ]