Songs For the Lost

Songs For the Lost
by Icarus Witch
Cleopatra Records, 2007

 

Melodic metal gets no respect. Its hummable headbanging is scorned by those in search of maximum church-burning corpse-mutilating cat-sodomizing Drano-gargling Eeeevvviiillll. Meanwhile, emo kiddies, hipsters, and the Arbiters of Cool run screaming from the scent of Velveeta and hair mousse. It’s almost enough to make a girl give her stonewashed jeans to Goodwill. Thankfully, Icarus Witch single-handedly reinvigorates the genre with Songs of the Lost.

Where many might wish to distance themselves with a big dose of smirking irony, Icarus Witch plays it straight and reverent. They pay tribute to oft-mocked elders like Def Leppard, even getting former Rainbow vocalist Joe Lynn Turner to offer vocal assistance on their cover of “Mirror Mirror.” And with “Nature of the Beast,” they even bring us a track reminiscent of the great proto-metal rockers Uriah Heep. (If that name doesn’t ring any bells, borrow your stoner uncle’s copy of The Magician’s Nephew or Demons and Wizards).

The proceedings are consistently interesting. Bassist Jason Myers and drummer Eric Kliinger lay down a rock solid 4/4 foundation upon which the edifice rises. Quinn Lukacs and Steve Pollick lead the two-pronged guitar attack, with all the power chords and finger-picking pyrotechnics you’d expect. Matthew Bizilla’s tenor can go from Dokken to Dio on a dime: he’s got the lungs for Wagnerian cadences (“Nature of the Beast,” “Queen of Lies”) and the feel for power ballads (“Smoke and Mirrors”).

If this were a just world, Icarus Witch would be MTV idols and Songs for the Lost would be a multiplatinum smash. But until the recording industry comes to its senses, look to see Icarus Witch coming to a venue near you, and buy this CD: it’s a tasty reminder of the glory days when Spandex was king and eyeliner wasn’t just for Goth wannabes.

KOHINOOR SETORA.

RATING: 4 Broomsticks

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