Icarus Witch – Songs For The Lost (2007, Cleopatra Records)
- Out For Blood
- Written In The Stars
- The Sky Is Falling
- Nature Of The Beast
- Mirror Mirror
- Queen Of Lies
- Devil’s Hour
- House Of Usher
- Smoke & Mirrors
Matthew Bazilia – Lead & Backing Vocals
Steve Pollick – Guitars, Keyboards, Backing Vocals*
Jason Myers – Bass, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Eric Klinger – Drums, Keyboards, Backing Vocals and Rhythm Guitar on ‘Afterlife’
Quinn Lukas – Guitars, Backing Vocals**
Joe Lynn Turner – Vocals on ‘Mirror Mirror’
Katherine Blake – Backing Vocals on ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ and Spoken Word on ‘Afterlife’
Cassandra Sotos – Violin on ‘Smoke & Mirrors’
Jere Jameson – Drums on ‘Mirror Mirror’
(* left the band shortly after the album’s release)
(** joined the band after Steve Pollick’s departure)
Produced by: Eric Klinger
Total Time – 46:41
I have been a big fan of Icarus Witch since the ROSES ON WHITE LACE E.P. (2005) and I am really psyched for this new album. The review here is long overdue because I picked this album up the day it was released and it easily came in at #5 on my Top 15 Albums of 2007. The band plays old school Traditional Heavy Metal with a major nod to the NWOBHM…..it’s easy to hear the Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and Iron Maiden influences.
‘Out For Blood’ starts off with the trademark galloping Maiden bass line and main riff, making you wonder if it’s actually early Iron Maiden. Absolute driving song, attacking the listener by the throat right away. ‘Written In The Stars’ has an eerie and evil feel to it, definitely in the vocals. When Matthew Bazilla shrieks, …”the Zodiac”… a few lines in, it sends a shiver up your spine and makes you raise that fist. Almost like old Judas Priest, pre-British Steel, and a touch of Guns ‘N Roses.
I like the acoustic intro to ‘The Sky Is Falling’, it adds a bit of mood to the proceedings. The song is slower compared to the first two but it still maintains a sinister feeling while invoking melodic stylings. The Iron Maiden influence is back big time on ‘Nature Of The Beast’ with the opening instrumental. It gallops about, a la Maiden, but the song slows down and finds a moody groove until just before the chorus where it picks up again. Good Metal gives the listener a lot to listen to and the different pace changes keeps things moving nicely. I hate cover songs but it’s nice to hear the band’s take on an old lost track from Def Leppard’s HIGH ‘N DRY album. ‘Mirror Mirror’ is done extremely well, rivaling the original to my ears! It also doesn’t hurt to have one of the best vocalists in Rock to guest on your cover song, Joe Lynn Turner turning in another flawless performance accompanying Icarus Witch.
‘Queen Of Lies’ is slow and moody and ‘Devil’s Hour’ adds more of a Hard Rock groove with a NWOBHM influence. Both songs remind me of Queensryche a bit probably due to the overall grandness of the sound, excellent vocals on these two songs just like the rest of the album. Doom-laden Sabbath influence all over ‘House Of Usher’ with the bass right in your face. Very heavy track with the guitar and bass dueling and complementing each other while the drums are the heaviest yet on the album. ‘House Of Usher’ has that retro heavy ’70s Classic Hard Rock feel.
‘Afterlife’ has some different elements to it: I like the spoken word intro by Katherine Blake and the Who-like acoustic guitars mid-track. It’s a very melodic track especially toward the last minute of the song with all the solos, etc. ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ ends the album on a slower note with violin complementing the acoustic guitars, courtesy of Cassandra Sotos, and backing vocals by Katherine Blake. Another melodic ’70s Classic Rock styled song that reminds me of Led Zeppelin mixed with Queensryche. I’m always a sucker for acoustics so this is one of my favorite songs on the album.
Icarus Witch has taken the best from all of their influences and incorporated them into there best recording so far. SONGS FOR THE LOST is as melodic as it is heavy and shows that the band is using as many elements as possible to create well-crafted songs. The music runs from the Maiden/Priest/Queensryche Metal to the ’70s retro Sabbath and Zeppelin with unique vocals and solid solos. I really like the whole album but if I had to pick a couple of favorites: ‘House Of Usher’, ‘Smoke & Mirrors’, Out For Blood’, and ‘Devil’s Hour’. Watch this band closely because Icarus Witch is a major force already!