Many of you might know the name of STORMWITCH only from the "Ravenlord"-cover-version of Sweden's HAMMERFALL. Which is a pity, because the band from the south of Germany had released five more or less outstanding albums between 1984 and 1989, of which the first four still are counted among the crème de la crème of German Metal.
My personal favourite is the "Beauty And The Beast"-album, which is the band's fourth. A little more commercial than the three previous efforts, the album features all facets of good Melodic Metal. No matter which track you take, all anthems! "Call Of The Wicked" opens up quite energetic and impresses with its immortal melody and the simple, but effective chorus! The famous title-track, where singer Andy Mück is accompanied by a lady in the chorus, is a cultural asset in my circles already! They used female vocals long before PARADISE LST! Their soft spot for black literature and historical events brought them the title of "Masters Of Black Romantic".
"Just For One Night" is based on a fairy-tale "of one, who set out to learn fear"! "Emerald Eye" deals with a legendary gemstone, while "Tigers Of The Sea" is a story about the English buccaneers, which raided Spanish ships in the name of their queen. Centre-piece and also the calmest song of the STORMWITCHes clearly is the gigantic "Tears By The Firelight", a wonderful ballad with campfire-atmosphere, where singer Andy again is accompanied by the above-mentioned lady. The song deals with a man, who comes home from battle and is longingly expected by his wife. Deeply moving! The song also works without any heavy elements and has a slightly medieval flair!
The epic track "Russia's On Fire" is very slow-paced and enriched with Russian folklore, which is made very clear with the great middle-part with balalaika and the Cossack-choir! On "Cheyenne" the spirits of the Indians are evoked. A quite fast song with a formidable chorus and a great structure. To close things off we are bid welcome in the most famous lunatic asylum, "Welcome To Bedlam" is the title, riff-wise reminiscent of ACCEPT. But STORMWITCH would not be STORMWITCH, if they had not empressed their own touch. With shrill cries this song is perfect for all high-voice-grumblers :)
Unfortunately the apparition is over after almost 37 minutes already, but who cares, I still have the three previous albums, which are not to be sneezed at, but are very hard to get by now. This album has been re-released only a short while ago, but I do not know on which label. But still I think that almost every second-hand-shop should have at least one copy of the cheap (and gruesome looking) Laserlight-edition. In most cases you'll even be able to get the first edition with the original-cover.