Released: 2010, Cleopatra Records
Reviewer: Robert Williams
Icarus Witch hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania have returned with their third full length effort DRAW DOWN THE MOON. Eight new original songs are on tap, plus a choice cover tune in the form of Judas Priest's classic "The Ripper". The last several years have seen this four piece gain a considerable amount of momentum, from working with veteran players like Frank Aresti, Joe Lynn Turner and George Lynch to landing an opening slot for Heaven and Hell and most recently acting as the backing band for Paul Di'Anno on his current North American tour.
DRAW DOWN THE MOON clocking in at just over half an hour, begins with lead-off single "Black Candles" featuring a pretty infectious riff from returning axeman Quinn Lukas who had departed from the group's ranks last summer in order to go to school to become a funeral director, only to return a short time later. Icarus Witch has long stood amongst the upper echelon of traditional American heavy metal along with other notables such as Twisted Tower Dire, Seven Witches and Helstar. Whereas the group's peers might have opted for the inclusion of a more modern power metal influence, this is not the case with Icarus Witch, who steer clear of double bass drumming and over-complicated guitar melodies. The band's focal point is likely vocalist Matthew Bizilia, whose harmonized vocal phrasing shines on tracks like "Aquarius Rising", the album's title track, the haunting "Funeral Wine" and of course on "The Ripper".
Erik Klinger of Pro-Pain fame, has done a fine job co-producing and engineering this affair. Everything sounds great in terms of dynamics and sonic range. Nice reverb effects are added to give certain vocal parts an appropriate paranormal feel as demonstrated on "Haunting Visions". Also, the rhythm section comprised of bassist Jason Myers and new skinsman Steve Johnson is incorporated well into the mix with plenty of thump, giving DRAW DOWN THE MOON a fat bottom heavy delivery. As a guitarist, Quinn Lukas' delivery strikes me as being very much in line with mid-eighties Ozzy Osbourne output. Quinn utilizes a really classic sounding tone and feel to his playing.
If you have enjoyed the first two albums by Icarus Witch, you will most likely welcome DRAW DOWN THE MOON into your collection with open arms. It is of note that the tempo rarely changes on DRAW DOWN THE MOON, which is fine if you worship at the altar of Black Sabbath and Dio. I definitely would have preferred a few faster ass-kicking headbangers thrown in for good measure, but that is just personal preference. Overall, a pretty solid album from one of America's leading up and coming heavy metal bands.