Wytch Hazel - III: Pentecost review

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Band: Wytch Hazel
Album: III: Pentecost
Release date: October 2020

01. He Is The Fight
02. Spirit And Fire
03. I Am Redeemed
04. Archangel
05. Dry Bones
06. Sonata
07. I Will Not
08. Reap The Harvest
09. The Crown
10. Ancient Of Days

Is it 2020, the late 70s, or the late Middle Ages? Yes!

Music that takes you to the past is nothing new, and in some way or another most of the music we cover here is more or less retro anyway. An OSDM album will sound old. A thrash metal album will sound old. Nowadays even some funeral doom or some dissonant black metal already sounds old. But if we talk old, we take ye to the oldest of all, and I'm not talking about the entire genre of doom metal trying to sound like Black Sabbath, I'm talking about the 70s, which indeed included [band]Black Sabbath/band] as well, but also Thin Lizzy, Blue Öyster Cult and Scorpions, and it paved the way for the NWOBHM of acts like Angel Witch and Saxon. Wytch Hazel sound a bit like each of those, and they live precisely in that point in time where heavy metal was still comfortably on the borders of hard rock, and it lived in folksy tales and late night radio choruses.

Even among newer bands, Wytch Hazel definitely share some similarities with contemporaries in Ghost and Cauldron, though not as gimmicky as the former and with a slightly different touch than the latter. Like I mentioned, there are a lot of (recognizably British) folk touches that do give the record a bit of a medieval feeling to go along with the witchcraft of it. Though compared to most of the NWOBHM stuff that did take on witchcraft, Lucifer or death, Wytch Hazel do come from a more honest to God (literally) christian approach (the title itself a reference to main songwriter Colin Hendra's Pentecostal faith). Generally whenever I have issues with religious music, usually Christian, is when it puts the message on a higher pedestal than the music. On III: Pentecost it doesn't feel like a Christian making hard rock, but like a Christian who is a fan of hard rock using his faith as inspiration for his songwriting.

The most obvious way in which this is the case is because of how great the songwriting is and how meticulously crafted it feels. This is clearly a labor of love, with each production and songwriting detail given the uttermost care, from the tracking of the vocals, every instrument in the background sounding as crisp as it possibly can, and each song being an absolute earworm. Hendra may not have the best or most powerful (definitely not the latter) voice in heavy metal, hence why the music written around it is less of the powerful galloping kind, but something that is less "balls to the walls" but still recognizably heavy with a certain charm. Hence why I didn't mention Iron Maiden when naming NWOBHM bands. As much as this would sound inappropriate with more bombastic music, it would also sound inappropriate with someone with Bruce Dickinson's vocal range.

So pretty much this is retro rock done right. And Christian metal done right. See! It can still be done.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 9


Written on 04.11.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 78 users
04.11.2020 - 18:09
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Good reviev, good bands in lust, well metal is old and now youre 45 years old. Yes you are soon
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
04.11.2020 - 18:17
I prefered Wytch Hazel II: Sojourn, the songs were more concise, and the guitar duets were beautiful

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