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Masterwork! - 99%

grimdoom, July 8th, 2009

This is easily one of the best Heavy Metal albums; not only of the NWOBHM era but in the Metal world in general. Angel Witch's debut was easily the heaviest of the lot as possibly darkest of the lot. Sadly, its successors weren't as attention grabbing. Everyone who calls themselves a headbanger needs to hear this album at least once before they die.

The production is a bit thin, but its better than the production on Maidens first album. The guitars are fierce, heavy and all over the place. Once again, to make a general comparison, they are arguably more technical than Maidens. The solos are bombastic if a little sloppy at times. The leads and melodies are refreshing and still relevant today. There is an incredibly epic feeling to the songs, perhaps by accident. There is isn't a very dark album per say but it does have its moments. Heybourne is a very competent song writer and it shows. The songs are generally mid-tempo to fast with perhaps a few slower pieces here and there. The creativity in the songs is practically unparalleled for its time. This is the same for the distortion used on his amps.

The bass is standard and uninspired; this isn't necessarily a bad thing since the guitars are meant to dominate the songs. The drums are also very standard for the period but effective.

The vocals suck. There is no nice way to put it other than that. Kevin should never be allowed behind a microphone unless he's without a guitar. His pitch is acceptable but his voice sounds blown out and tired. Its very tiring very quickly.

This album is very Thrashy with the palm muted parts far over shadowing the open chorded passages. The music is very raw and unpolished but energetic and intense; there is a lot of guitar layering. Most of the songs have dual harmonies coupled with one or two guitar solos as well. According to the liner notes, the lyrics are very tongue in cheek regarding all matters of darkness, evil, etc... but they are well written. With that being said, most of the songs are excellent with only a few being hard to swallow more than once (Those being on the re-release for the most part). This is something that everyone can enjoy as its so varied in its song writing and delivery. A MUST have for all diehard NWOBHM addicts!