The Power Metal cauldron-is bubbling over with top quality releases this year: PRIMAL FEAR, IRON SAVIOR, BLIND GUARDIAN, FALCONER, RUNNING WILD (Top-quality? Oh, oh… - Alex) and NOCTURNAL RITES have all released very strong albums that is keeping the genre alive and well.
Add SEVEN WITCHES to this pot and Power Metal is in very safe hands.
This is the third album from Jack "Savatage" Frost and troupe and it is awash with searing screaming guitars, waling solos and throat ripping vocals and bloody good songs. "Xiled…" is much more akin to the debut release "Second War In Heaven" than it is to its dull, lifeless predecessor "City Of Lost Souls".
Tracks such as the opener "Metal Tyrant", "Incubus" and the title track are just about near perfection in Power Metal terms. Razor sharp riffing backed with solid and uncompromising rhythm work. And with Wade Black (ex of CRIMSON GLORY) handling vocals duties more than admirably this is a cracking listen. SEVEN WITCHES incorporate big PRIEST, METALLICA and even ICED EARTH-influences into their sound and mould well enough to produce a fresh and revitalising Power Metal-sound.
Vocalists Jon Oliva of SAVATAGE guests on "The Burning" and it is great to hear him belting out a Heavy Metal track as the 'Tage don't really do that anymore, sadly! However the albums highlight has to be the guest appearance of ANNIHILATOR's Joe Comeau on the last track "See You In Hell". A truly great Heavy Metal song.
This is simply stuff but hard to beat and if you need an excuse to add to the Power Metal-CD-rack then I couldn't recommend strongly enough. (Online August 2, 2002)