Once again SEVEN WITCHES managed to craft an outstanding, traditional Metal disc. You literally feel the aura of the eighties and the entire album is probably to be understood as a kind of bow to the heroes JUDAS PRIEST to DIO on to IRON MAIDEN, when they still wrote true classics. Of course, “Year Of The Witch” doesn’t quite reach the immortal works by these Metal gods, but at least they conjure up the old spirits and I wipe one or another tear of emotion away from my eye.
The vocal performance by James Rivera is once again grandiose and on the instruments they also lay down a top performance. I find the songs a tad more harmonious than with “Passage To The Other Side”, which also contained one or another modern part. There’s only old school here and that’s good like this. Be it the killer opener “Metal Asylum” whose text is comprised of catch-words from the history of Metal only or the speedy “Fires Below”, which makes your head rotate…In “Can’t Find My Way” there’s also a first-class semi-ballad on it which is once again refined by Rivera’s faceted singing. It’s only the chorus of “Cries Of The Living” which sounds a bit too cheesy to me, but that’s just a matter of taste. The album’s second half is summarized under the title of “Jacob”, which makes you conclude a concept story.
Unfortunately my cardboard box promo doesn’t have any lyrics, so that I’m in the dark just like the gentle reader about the concept. I don’t go into every single song, it’s a fact that SEVEN WITCHES have delivered their masterpiece so far here.
People who prefer true Metal without keyboard orgies and tralala-choruses must absolutely have this highlight. Believe it! (Online November 9, 2004)