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I like to describe Seven Witches as being like a cross between Manowar and Nevermore. They have gained attention in the metal community for their tendency to match modern aesthetics with classic metal oriented song structures. This album is considered by some to be one of their strongest efforts and is the first to feature Helstar vocalist James Rivera, the only album to fully feature Armored Saint bassist Joey Vera, and the last to feature drummer Brian Craig.
Musically, the band’s sound is dominated by solid hooks and generally fast paced riffs that cover a lot of metal styles. “Dance with the Dead” and “The Last Horizon” have a strong power metal feel to them. “Mental Messiah,” “Johnny,” and “Fever in the City” are practically speed metal. The title track is an epic ballad number. The band even embraces hard rock with their gritty cover of Def Leppard’s “Wasted.”
On the modern side (No pun intended), “Apocalyptic Dreams” features guitar effects that remind me of something that Tom Morello would try out, “Betrayed” is a mid-tempo groove track, and “Nature’s Wrath” brings to mind a less depressing Alice in Chains with its particularly crunchy riffs.
The band also puts on a solid performance throughout with guitars that are often melodic but with a strong crunch, vocals executed in shrieking Halford/Dickinson worship, and plenty of opportunities for the rhythm section to shine. Most listeners would be accurate when accusing the band of being cheesy, but I’m pretty sure that’s what they were going for in the first place. It is fairly obvious that the band exists to honor their musical heroes and they do a pretty decent job of doing so...
Aside from the cheesy themes, the album’s main flaw seems to manifest within the actual songwriting. While I do enjoy the variety that the songs offer, the album can be inconsistent at times. A few of the modern influences don’t seem to be worked in very well. It’s almost as if they couldn’t decide whether they wanted to write classic metal or modern metal. The lyrics also have a tendency to be a little bone-headed at times. All in all, it may be the best album that Seven Witches put out and would probably be a good purchase for newer fans.
1) Pretty accessible songwriting and good variety present
2) The band puts on a solid performance
1) People who hate cheesy music will nothing to enjoy
2) A few of the modern influences don’t fit in well
3) Elementary song lyrics
My Current Favorites:
“Dance With the Dead,” “Mental Messiah,” “Johnny,” “The Last Horizon,” and “Wasted”