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Seven Witches - Call Upon The Wicked

Label: FrostByte/eOne
Format: CD download
Released: 2011
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 7.5/ 10


The ‘Fields Of Fire’ single/video kicks things off, the mid-tempo tune not indicative of what’s to follow. Save for the odd moment, this is not an all-out power metal album. That’s not to imply it’s a radical stylistic departure either, but care seems to have been taken towards songwriting, rather than a showy flash of riffage, as mainman/guitarist Jack Frost backs the multi-talented voice of the Witches returning, yet ubiquitous elsewhere, James Rivera (Helstar). Tuneful, not over-the-top. As with his full-time gig, the Mexican Dio punctuates his killer voice with more than a few black metal shrieks, but nice to hear him back in the normal register as well.

 

Bass is provided by Symphony X’s Mike LePond. ‘Lilith’ veers towards soaring vocal, traditional metal, including a brief guitar solo spot, whereas the title cut bears a resemblance to Frost’s love of 80s metal, gang vocals intact. ‘Ragnarock’ goes for a lesson in Scandinavian mythology, courtesy of a low throated (!) Rivera and a poppy chorus ripped from 70s Saturday morning cartoons. Acoustic guitar introduces ‘End Of Days’, with it’s female accompanied duet. ‘Mind Games’, with its oft repeated ‘Stop fucking with my head’ catchphrase (both Rivera and Frost) is decidedly metal, as well as the speedy widdling workout opening ‘Harlot Of Troy’. As the lone real blazer, it stands out even more. A grittier tone characterizes ‘Eyes Of Flame’ (old Savatage anyone?) Disc concludes with a cover of Cream’s ‘White Room’, as well as bootleg quality live renditions of Witches classics: ‘Metal Tyrant’, ‘Metal Asylum’ and ‘Jacob’.

 
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