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ICARUS WITCH Goodbye Cruel World

By Daniel Höhr, European Correspondent
Monday, October 15, 2018 @ 6:51 AM


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ICARUS WITCH
Goodbye Cruel World

Cleopatra Records, 2018




After six years since Rise, ICARUS WITCH are to release their fifth studio album through Cleopatra Records on 26 October. The album features their new lead singer Andrew D'Cagna of BRIMSTONE COVEN and IRONFLAME fame and drum duties have been taken by Jon Rice (SCORPION CHILD, SKELETONWITCH, BEHEMOTH). With the pre-production in the capable hands of Neil Kernon, who has worked with acts such as QUEENSRYCHE and JUDAS PRIEST, there doesn't seem much that could possibly go wrong.

And indeed, without any warning the killer riff of the opening title track punches you in your stomach just as much as in your face. It is not just vocalist's Andrew D'Cagna's voice that sort of reminds me of QUEENSRYCHE singer Todd La Torre, the song is pretty much in the style of the last QUEENSRYCHE album, Condition Hüman. Regardless of the question of whether or not there has been some legit cross-fertilization, on each of the ten tracks on Goodbye Cruel World, ICARUS WITCH prove that they play in the same league as the present-day QUEENSRYCHE.

Enough comparisons, this album does stand on its own feet as almost each song is a blast bursting with ideas, power, and originality. Thus it is difficult to single out any highlights. The sinister and catchy “Misfortune Teller” is slowly but surely becoming my favourite track on this album. “Lightning Strikes”, with its refreshingly dissonant guitar chords and its development to a STRYPER-style chorus complete with harmony vocals and everything is a real blast. Its guitar solo is certainly among the finest lead guitar work on this album. “Mirage” is a 50-second filler and, well, the album wouldn't suffer without it. Fast forward to “Through Your Eyes”, a heavy mid-tempo number and one of those on the album that shows a distinct alternative rock influence. Once again, killer lead guitar work by Quinn Lukas. “The Flood” is ICARUS WITCH's first instrumental, cleverly arranged and showcasing the musicians' top notch skills. Even though instrumentals often fall victim to the skip button, it would be a sin of omission not to indulge in this piece of music. The following uptempo track “Silence Of The Siren” will probably take you a while to fully appreciate it as it is rhythmically quite complex but it is surely worth it. That Andrew D'Cagna is not only in full command of the higher register of his voice but also sounds great in the lower one becomes clear in the slower number “Possessed by You”. ICARUS WITCH turn the tempo down another notch for the gloomy ballad “Antivenom”, a gorgeous duet with Katharine Blake of MEDIEVAL BABES and MIRANDA SEX GARDEN fame. Captivating guitar work, great melodic bassline, and a climax that will invariably make you turn up the volume. Talking about outstanding tracks on this album – this is certainly among them as well. The final track, “Until the Bitter End”, once more features ICARUS WITCH's core strengths, namely heavy riffs, deep and driving bass grooves, first class drumming with a rhythmic complexity that doesn't destroy the catchiness of the songs and captivating melodic vocal lines.

Goodbye Cruel World is a straightforward traditional, but at the same time refreshingly modern heavy metal album, which will not only appeal to MAIDEN and PRIEST fans but also, thanks to its melodic richness and appealing arrangements, to AOR and melodic rock connoisseurs. It was definitely worth waiting for this album for six years. ICARUS WITCH are not only back but are now playing in a higher league. 0.1 point deduction for the unnecessary “Mirage”, so 4.9 for this otherwise awesome album.

4.9 Out Of 5.0


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