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Fulfilling their promise - 90%

Sargon_The_Terrible, March 12th, 2008

Third time is the charm. Icarus Witch blew me away with their debut EP Roses On White Lace, but despite some really good songs, their debut full-length Capture The Magic was not as good as I was hoping, and didn't quite catch fire. Finally, with surprisingly little fanfare, Icarus Witch have released a killer disc that lives up to their promise with their second full-length Songs For The Lost. Lineup changes have plagued this band, but they keep on forging themselves into a first-rate classic metal machine.

This is a heavier and darker album than Capture The Magic, with a harder-edged guitar sound and darker riffs. IW's signature broodingly mystical lyrics are in fine form, and songs like "The Sky Is Falling", "Queen Of Lies" and "Devil's Hour" are among their strongest tunes to date. Again there is not a whole lot of tempo variation between songs, and Icarus Witch never really speed up and kick your ass, nor slow way down and play doomier. They march along at their accustomed midpace, but this time it's less noticeable for some reason, and the album as a whole has a livelier feel. Part of that is the break delivered by the Def Leppard cover "Mirror, Mirror", which suits their style very well, and shows that DL used to be able to write real songs. The performances are spot on, especially the sharp guitar work of Steve Pollick and the always-charismatic vocals of wailer Matt Bizilia. I also have to note the greater prominence given to Jason Myers bass playing in the mix, giving this a much groovier, Sabbathy feel.

I have been waiting for this band to produce their masterwork, which I believe they are yet to do, but Songs For The Lost is a killer disc nevertheless, and fans of the band's previous works should know this is their best yet. Any fan of classic Heavy Metal should get this without hesitation. If they keep getting better like this, then Icarus Witch will be a name to conjure with. Highly Recommended.

Originally written for www.metalcrypt.com