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Angel Witch > Resurrection > Reviews > Bleach Theory
Angel Witch - Resurrection

Misses the Mark - 75%

Bleach Theory, July 27th, 2015

Welcome to Resurrection, its three Angel Witch demos compacted into one relatively easy to find release. Now I can't really compare this all that well to said demos because I lack the motivation and time to track down those demos, so rather than compare this to them at every turn let's try and treat this as its own full length album.

Now maybe you're familiar with Angel Witch, their debut album is nothing to sneeze at and has become a NWoBHM classic (and yet despite this all, my introduction to them was through Brutal Legend, even though I was a dedicated metalhead two years before I even touched that game). Since that album's release the band might as well have fallen off the edge of the Earth, none of their albums have reached the same level of love and reverence amongst metalheads and it seems only those with a deep passion for the NWoBHM even care that the band has made any followups (two in the 80s and another one in 2012, about twenty six years after the last of its predecessors). That is the band's career in a nutshell and perhaps important to explaining why I find this release to be interesting. Most bands tend to demo most heavily prior to their debut album, after all once you have a record label contract (or enough cash in your pockets) to record all your material demos ceremoniously become EPs. All three of the demos here came after the year 1986 meaning Angel Witch was punched back into the demo phase. There could be an interesting story as to why these are labelled as demos rather than EPs but alas I am unfamiliar with the story and with that I must digress to the music itself.

The production isn't bad, first thing I have to say. The music doesn't sound like it was recorded in a forest or a bedroom with cheap equipment, this is actually a pretty good production job, its clear and clean. No muddiness but also not too processed or slick. Everything is audible and clean which is a major strength here.

Instrumentally all these songs have pretty much the same setup: mid-paced melodic guitar riffs and solos, supported by simple bass lines and drum work, rinse and repeat. Its not a technical or skilled masterpiece but the compositions are solid. The biggest draw here being the melodic edge or perhaps a few tracks with choruses that are easy to sing along to, but don't be fooled into thinking it isn't heavy, it still has a healthy level of intensity to it.

The vocalist is a competent singer, his voice worked and he has a decent range, there are also some pretty good gang shouts in 'Psychopathic' but there are a few things he does here that tend to be troublesome. At times it seems he's trying a rougher more aggressive style of vocals like a shriek, the catch being it just sounds like he's singing with a hoarse voice which was tolerable in small doses but gets used a lot in the opening track 'Psychopathic'. In 'Scraping the Well' we get these deep vocals that I believe are an attempt at sounding daemonic, but don't, that are set up in call and response style with the singer who's using a more punkish style of singing, which came across as cheesy.

So nothing here was terrible or even all that bad, in fact it was quite decent but it misses the mark at being great or even legendary. All these tracks moved to another album would be filler that keeps you interested and listening between the good tracks. Everything here is worthy of a listen but it doesn't have any of those tracks that make you come back time after time; no fan favorites, classics or live staples. Its not a bad release by any means but it could be months before I even touch it again simply because there is nothing special to draw me back.

I'd recommend this to fans of Angel Witch who haven't experienced it yet or die hard lovers of NWoBHM.