SEVEN WITCHES - CITY OF LOST SOULS - CRASH
Seven Witches’ City Of Lost Souls is a five-year old release featuring an old line-up now packaged for North American consumption years after the initial release through Germany’s constantly insecure Massacre Records. Of course, the similarly unstable Crash Music gives next to no information about the original release date on its band biography. There is not any information about the songs either, probably because Crash simply knows nothing about them. What is even more surprising is the lack of information on the CD itself. Indeed, the album is a prime example of US metal. The songs wear their influences on their sleeves. There is little wrong with the band’s own songs. What is out of kilter is the details - which might explain the lack of information by band and label - like how three out of eleven songs on the disc are cover versions. One of these is a techno version of Exciter’s Pounding Metal. Perhaps labels have caught on to what fans have always known. Shelling out cash to hear a band play someone else’s music better come with a bar, beer and a couple of slutty chicks on the dance floor. Long has passed the time when label bios would brag about the presence of cover versions on an album. Regardless, aside from a keyboard snippet on the title track this is the exception rather than rule and should not act as a total turn off here. Again, no mention on the CD jacket, but the band also mutilates Pat Benatar’s Hell Is For Children. The track Witching Hour is not a Venom cover, while We Are The Coven is an obvious play on word given this song’s best attempt to mimic Mercyful Fate. Past the odd spoken intro called The Question, the first song is The Answer which is mid-paced, somehow enjoyable and topped with high pitched and occasionally nasal vocals. The title track is more indicative of a Queensrÿche influence before kicking it up a notch and injecting some welcome speed. Other names that one could cite as influences on the album are Savatage (which might have inspired the album’s name by naming one of their own tracks City Beneath The Surface), the aforementioned Exciter and Blind Guardian. - Ali “The Metallian”
SEVEN WITCHES - SECOND WAR IN HEAVEN - CRASH
Here comes another older release picked up by Crash Music for North American release. This oldie by America’s Seven Witches features a line-up which has not existed in years, but don’t let that stop you for this could be the heavy metal band’s best output.
Second War In Heaven is top shelf heavy metal (as opposed to thrash metal), but oddly enough one can hear the band’s influences and they are thrash acts like Exciter and Overkill. Bobby Lucas puts in a good vocal performance and the rest of the band balances mid-paced and melodic metal with more extreme and speedier sections. Even the odd slow song is both well written and hefty. Then again get to track twelve and hear the band rip off Exciter without mercy!
Bottom line: Second War In Heaven is metal all the way and a great example of living American metal. This edition also comes with three bonus tracks culled from the band’s demo days. - Ali “The Metallian”