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Metal/Prog Metal Concert Reviews

Icarus Witch

Live in Chicago, IL, February 2010

Review by Greg Olma

This was my first taste of Icarus Witch.  I had not heard their music (I have since gotten their latest CD and reviewed it in this issue of MSJ) so I was interested in seeing what these guys had to offer.  My friends have told me that I should be a fan of the band because they have that NWOBHM sound that I love so much.  Well, my friends weren’t kidding.  Icarus Witch possesses all the great aspects of that era of heavy metal yet they still manage to sound new. 
Since the band was in the support slot on this tour (although they were performing double duty by being headliner Paul Di’Anno’s backing band), they still managed to put in an impressive set.  I don’t know why the crowd was so harsh towards these guys since they basically were playing a style of music that fit very closely with the headliner.  It’s not like they were a rap band trying to win over a metal crowd.  Anyway, it was the crowd’s loss by not getting into Icarus Witch.  They performed a short 8 song set but they touched on each release, giving extra time to their last two albums. 

Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
   

They opened the show with 2 tracks from 2007’s Songs For The Lost; namely “Nature Of The Beast” and “Queen Of Lies”.  At this point, I was asking myself why I wasn’t a fan from the beginning.  Like I mentioned earlier, this was the baptism into Icarus Witch and right from the start, I was hooked.  They followed it up with “Black Candles” and “Serpent In The Garden” from the new CD.  The former is a catchy piece of metal that I’m sure will be in their set list for years to come while the later is equally as good but does not possess the same melodic hook as “Black Candles”.  The Maiden-esque “The Ghost Of Xavior Holmes” was performed before they launched into the title track from their new record Draw Down The Moon.  After hearing these track performed live, I couldn’t wait to get home and throw on the new disc. 


Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
   

The vocals by Matthew Bizilia were strong throughout the short set and reminded me a bit of a younger Rob Halford but he still has a sound of his own.  Quinn Lucas was riffing the whole night but what stood out was the “classy” style of his soloing.  He didn’t pull an Yngwie Malmsteen and overpower the songs; instead choosing to play “for” the song, not over it.  Making sure to establish a solid foundation for the tracks, Jason Myers (bass) and Steve Johnson (drums) kept things simple but very effective.  These guys make up one tight rhythm section.  They finished the show with “The Sky Is Falling” and “Winds Of Atlantis”.  Even though they only played eight tunes, they definitely made an impression on me.  Based on this performance, I will definitely seek out their older CDs and I’ll have to watch out for their next tour.  Hopefully, I can catch a headlining set.  If you like the classic sounds NWOBHM mixed in with good old-school metal, then go see Icarus Witch. 


Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
   
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Greg Olma
     
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.
You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
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