ICARUS WITCH – Rise (2012)

ICARUS WITCH - Rise (2012)

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Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, ICARUS WITCH has been in the music business since 2003 and released four albums so far.

Playing their metalized edgy rock they have opened for bands like Y&T, Di’Anno, Winger and Cinderella and on their previous albums we could see guest performances from Joe Lynn Turner and George Lynch.

“Rise” is Icarus Witch’s new album, and a clear departure from his metal origins to a more modern melodic hard tock.

It’s been a decade of growth, development, change and experimentation for this band. Only bassist and founding member Jason Meyers remain from the original line up.

The Icarus Witch that exists today simply would not have written their two first albums. Being completely honest, it just seems like a completely new band. The new members have all instilled creative changes to where the music is different from what was first experienced.

If your first taste of Icarus Witch is “Rise”, you would never suspect that this was once a traditional metal band only a few years ago. But they changed for good, believe me.

New vocalist Christopher Shaner possesses a sharp, Melodic Rock-like glide to his voice. New guitarist / keyboardist Dave Watson adds his years of playing ability and production knowledge to the table.

Icarus Witch is now focused on an edgy Melodic Hard Rock style that reminds me Jeff Scott Soto ’90s bands Takara and Human Clay.

In fact, Shaner vocals recalls Soto many times here. Just listen “Coming Of The Storm” (one of the highlights) and then tell me.

All tracks feature a strong emphasis on potent chorus melodies, as example check the harmonies on “(We Are) The New Revolution”, a melodious anthem blending the L.A. ’80s scene with Pink Cream 69.

We have a very good ballad in “Nothing Is Forever”, driven by twin acoustic guitars and a deep acoustic bass against an echoing keyboard refrain, all filled with multi-part vocal verse harmonies.

Some of Icarus Witch original heavier sound can be found spiced on tracks like “The End”, the title track and “In The Dark”, but blurring the lines with classic hard rock and all built with big hooks and a great groove.

“Rise” is, by far, the most commercially friendly and accessible release that Icarus Witch has ever written. I always liked the band’s traditional metal style, but now they play in my league: “Rise” is edgy Melodic Hard Rock of the best craft.

The rich, intensely melodic choruses and hook-driven songwriting in this album results in a collection of songs that seem tailor made for the arenas.

“Rise” possesses all the elements to ascend Icarus Witch as major act and catapult their career to the next level, and is something the band should be nothing less than proud of.

Recommended.

01 – The End

02 – (We Are) The New Revolution

03 – Rise

04 – Asylum Harbour (Instrumental)

05 – Coming Of The Storm

06 – Tragedy

07 – Say When

08 – Break The Cycle

09 – Nothing Is Forever

10 – Pray

11 – In The Dark

12 – Last Call For Living

Christopher Shaner – lead & backing vocals

Quinn Lukas – guitars, backing vocals

Dave Watson – guitars, keyboards

Jason Myers – bass, backing vocals

Tom Wierzbicky – drums

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