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Xiled To Infinity And One
Released: 2002, Sanctuary Records
A lot of people say that bands don’t make “heavy metal” any more because all bands are either power metal, death metal, thrash metal, etc etc… Well there are still bands out there that play heavy metal and Seven Witches are one of the best. Seven Witches, as it’s always been, is the brainchild of Jack Frost. This is the band’s third album and it’s the first that really excited me. A big reason why this album kicks so much ass also has to do with vocalist Wade Black! As you may know, Wade was the discovered talent who was in Crimson Glory for one brilliant album, ASTRONOMICA, before guitarist Jon Drenning decided to go back into some form of unfortunate musical hibernation. Well at least Wade is back and playing with musicians of equal caliber. Joining vocal god Wade Black and guitarist Jack Frost (also in Savatage) is Brian Craig on drums. Brian’s name will be familiar to those of you who have followed the killer band Destiny’s End. Completing the line-up is Seven Witches long time bassist Billy Mez.
I’ve heard Seven Witches previous album, SECOND WAR IN HEAVEN, and it was unmemorable. It was good and all but after a few plays it went to the back of the pile with other new albums bidding for my precious time. Time will tell, but I seriously doubt that XILED TO INFINITY AND ONE will suffer the same fate!! This is just too good. The album opens with the best track on the album, “Metal Tyrant.” The rising scream that Wade belts out at the opening of the song is glorious. Hints of Ripper and Halford are heard in his vocals so he’s in the best of company! This one has a Judas Priest Painkiller era feel to it in places, especially with the guitar riffing (name how many band’s have a song that sounds something like Painkiller! Haha). The album’s title track is slightly different in that it is a bit more melodic. Hints of classic Priest, and all the 80’s metal gods come to mind while listening to this album. It doesn’t hurt that they band cover’s a killer 80’s metal anthem in the form of “See You In Hell” by Grim Reaper! Joining the band on backing vocals on this track is Annihilator vocalist Joe Comeau. The contribution of Savatage vocalist Jon Oliva is another awesome treat. He wrote and recorded the vocals for the track “The Burning.” As always, his vocals rule. It would have been nice if Wade and Jon could of traded off lines or sang some parts together….perhaps for the next album! The track “Eyes of and Angel” stood out for me as well, total classic metal feel. So what can I say critically about the album..hmmm…well the drum sound is a bit strange with the double kicks. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled…the guitar solo on the song “Pain” is insane. It’s a ripping solo and it sounds like Jack was on crack when he recorded it! Haha…just kidding, but it’s a bit over the top and not in a good way…in a noisy way. Don’t let that deter you from what is one of the better releases I’ve recently heard!
Seven Witches are here and they are “taking back the METAL”!!!! If any fan of straight up heavy metal and 80’s metal doesn’t like this Seven Witches album to some degree, I’d be surprised. This is not power metal, this is not melodic hard rock…this is HEAVY METAL!!!
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