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American traditionalists Icarus Witch's first full-length hit stores in mid-2006 amid a surprising amount of fanfare and critical acclaim. Unfortunately, the attention may have been both premature and undue, and certainly Pittsburgh's throwbacks were burned by the over-exposure. Bearing an unsettling resemblence to the NWBHM bands of the late '70s and early '80s, the derivative (though fun) offerings on this album sound dated in the extreme.
Best described as a nine-track version of their debut EP, "Roses on White Lace," "Capture the Magic" continues with almost exactly the same material as its predecessor, and the overall quality suffers for it. Maintaining the same raucous energy within such a limited musical scope for an extra four songs is apparently a daunting effort, as the album passes the halfway-point and the tracks suddenly become indistinguishable from one another. This decidedly front-heavy offering is both listenable and refreshing, as Icarus Witch brings a youthful spirit to the aging traditional style.
Unfortunately, due to both the limitations of the style and the relative inexperience of the members themselves, there is little that is truly interesting to be found anywhere on the album. By now, listeners of the style have come to expect flailing guitar solos, wailing vocals, audible bass, and enough lyrics about dragons and sorcerers to qualify as a Dungeons & Dragons campaign; Icarus Witch delivers all of the preceding in spades, seemingly making a conscious effort to keep the listener from forgetting exactly what the band considers itself.
By doing everything right, all of it well, and none of it differently, "Capture the Magic" is everything metal fans have come to expect of the recent years' emergence of youthful bands that claim their fathers' music as main inspirations. Simultaneoulsy derivative and enjoyable, this album is worth at least a casual spin.