Capture The Magic
posted on 11/2005 By:
At times inspired, but mostly safe and solid, one-time cover band Icarus Witch have recorded one of the few original traditional metal albums in 2005, and for that alone this foursome must be respected. The story goes that bassist Jason Myers, a former A&R rep in Los Angeles, fed up with the trend-fucked, metalcore-dominated music scene, decided to form a band of his own, which he soon titled Icarus Witch, to pay tribute to Dio, Alice Cooper, and the like. After contributing to an Alice Cooper tribute album, the group decided to record an EP. Capture the Magic is the followup to that EP.
Eight original tracks and one cover song deep, Capture the Magic has both the potential to impress and bore, as some songs are mere exercises in tediousness while others extend beyond the group’s original aim as a cover band to explore territory never seen in the era of those it reveres. “The Ghost of Xavier Holmes” is one of those songs that one instantly recognizes as classic. Traditional heavy metal has always been that genre that lends itself to late night driving on the open road. In fact, I played this song tonight as I dropped my girlfriend off at her place; turning sharp corners around the wasteland I call my neck of the woods in Los Angeles. The opening is eerie, conjuring up images of the introduction to any horror film about a deserted town that contains more mysteries than first meets the eye. Suddenly guitarist Steve Pollick enters the scene with a thematic riff that seems to greet the listener into its own lull. One gets further sucked into the world of the song with Matthew Bizilia’s semi-operatic voice that seems to stretch for miles. Unlike a few traditional metal singers, he doesn’t get carried away here with the tone of his voice; he never reaches any annoying ball-busting highs or laughable lows. Unfortunately, not all of the songs on Capture the Magic are as inspired or original as “The Ghost of Xavier Holmes.” Its origins as a cover band are apparently too strong, tracks like “Soothsayer” and “Darklands” sound too similar to Dio to convey any character of their own. The way the latter song slowly builds on the foundation of three layers, an almost mute guitar riff accompanied by a background sound not far from the “whoosh” sound one always hears in these faux-epics and Bizilia’s vocals, is an almost exact replica of classic Dio. Shame on you, Icarus Witch. Flattery can make for a solid career, but it can also make for a boring one as well. Icarus Witch wears a vast array of influences on its sleeve, but it should have knocked a few off before recording its first full length. Songs like “The Ghost of Xavier Holmes” and album opener “Storming the Castle” prove that the group is capable of carrying the flag of traditional metal without merely replicating the past, but a majority of the album prevents Icarus Witch from making the unique statement I believe the group wants to make to a scene that seems to have scrapped its history altogether.
Register to post comments.