(6/10) “Season of the witch” is the title of the tenth Stormwitch album. After eleven years the iconic band from Southern Germany has recorded eleven new songs which will be released in these days.
Since the band comes from my hometown Heidenheim, Germany, I followed them throughout their whole career. The first records have been, and still are, milestones in metal history; inspiring bands like e.g Swedish Hammerfall. And unforgettable the signing session in the local record shop '33 1/3' in 1987 during "The beauty and the beast" release.
With “Dancing with the witches” the 'masters of black romatic' had a pretty good comeback album in 2002 and I was curious if their second comeback would be as good as the first one.
Hmm. Honestly “Season of the witch” gave me a hard time. Maybe it’s not really fair to compare the todays band with Stormwitch from the 80’s. Things have changed and the line-up looks totally different today. Nowadays it’s Andy Mück and Jürgen Wannenwetsch on bass being the only active founding members in the band.
However, my excitement was pretty high when I heard that there will be a new record after more than a decade. But I also have to say, that it doesn’t really live up to my expectations.
The album has, without any doubt, some really good songs. The title track “Season of the witch” is one of those. Starting with a powerful drum solos and a crunchy riff the song is a true metal anthem. Also the catchiness of the song goes hand in hand with the heavyness of the song.
"At the end of the world" is another song that is worth to mention. The melodic rocker reminds a bit to "The beauty and the beast" times.
Another track that stands out is the slow "The trail of tears". It's the pounding rhythm that characterise the tune and the keyboards remind a bit to Rainbow /Deep Purple (during the "Perfect strangers" phase). The exciting guitar solo is the cherry on the cake. "The trail of tears" is, together with the title track", the best song on the longplayer.
But there are also more average tracks on the album. The opener “Evil spirit” and also “True until the end” are missing the punch Stormwitch had in the beginning. Both tracks can't live up to the level of the before mentioned ones and "Evil spirit" is one of the most trivial openers I have heard for a long time. Also the intro to the song is very special. It is the 'Hexeneinmaleins' from Goethe's "Faust I". which feels a bit misplaced.
With “Runescape” the album has a real downer. OMG. When I heard the track I had to check if my mp3 player was in a shuffle mode and moved to an album from a modern pop-rock band. The song is sticky sweet and has a true pop appeal. The gap between the heavy title track and “Runescape” couldn’t be bigger. This was even too much for me who considers “The beauty and the beast” as an excellent album in the bands discography.
So, there is light and there is shadow on “Season of the witch”. In general I have to say that the album doesn’t reach the level of “Dancing with the witches” and doesn’t reach the level of the iconic first albums either. It’s partly a solid melodic metal record. Not more, but also not less.
- Evil spirit
- Last warrior
- True until the end
- Season of the witch
- At the end of the world
- The trail of tears
- Harper in the wind
- The singer’s curse (Digipak Bonus)
- Different eyes (Digipak Bonus)
Label: Massacre Records
Genre: Heavy Metal