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Steelwitch – Steelwitch (Reissue) Award winner

Steelwitch
Steelwitch (Reissue)
by Neil Cook at 26 February 2021, 1:54 PM

STEELWITCH comes on strong like a fist in a gauntlet of metal, Heavy Metal that is!  At first listen and without checking out the bands bio, you would be sure you were listening to some lost 80’s classic from a NWOBHM band from the late 70’s, early 80’s.  But oh no my rocking amigos wrong on a number of levels, except about the music.  The sounds are so clearly head banging, no nonsense, Heavy Metal in the IRON MAIDEN vein.

So who is STEELWITCH?  They are a duo comprising Giorgos on the mighty vocals and Ungod on, well everything else.  They hail from Greece.  They were formed in the dim and distant past of 2017, and this 5 song collection is therefore a recent re-release.

From the crunch of boots on snow and the sound of blade being drawn from scabbard at the outset of “Last Winters Day”  we know exactly where we are.  By the sounds of it marauding through the tundra with a bunch of Norse warriors, which is a tab confusing.  I don’t imagine a whole lot of snowy tundra on the Mediterranean beaches of Greece.  The imagery is pure Metal! As is the pounding drums and basslines, the soaring guitars and metal as heck vocals.  You are pulled along through the song by their fist of metal!

Cursed Dreams” keeps up the pace, and the Maiden analogues.  Giorgos giving us his best Bruce “air-raid siren”, and Ungod doing his utmost to be a one man MAIDEN machine.  Too be honest the sound doesn’t stray too far from the formula.  “Legacy Of Swords” could be a B side or an out take from the IRONSPiece Of Mind”, perhaps with a touch of HELLOWEEN thrown in pacing wise.

Another familiar Metal trope greets us at the start of “Midnight Whispers”.  The sound of wolves howling at the moon rather than whispering, which would have made for a really crappy intro, so that’s OK, and again into another neck breaking MAIDEN-like tune.  The whole vocal approach is right out of the Bruce Dickenson playbook, so there will be some marks lost for originality. BUT there is no denying STEELWITCH do it very well.  I have to say UNGOD does play everything very, very well. No faults here, guitars on-point, bass is spot on, and drums like a crazy train.

They then go and throw the self titled track “Steelwitch” at us.  Ah the self titled song, who does that? Oh yes!  However there is a little curve-ball on this one, the first few bars sound a lot like HELLOWEEN.  OK later on the pattern is re-established with some good old woah woah woah’s al-ah THAT band we’ve mentioned enough.

However to just be clear, because you might think I have issues with their sounding like my favorite band?  Well you are wrong!  I think this is a great set of classic Heavy Metal songs plaid in a style I love.  I hope the guys have produced this because they too love this type of music, I believe so, and on future releases they can hone their sound to be add a little more of their own personalities and flavor to this tasty Metal Pie.  Mind your teeth on the crust!

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9


 

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Last Winters Day
2. Cursed Dreams
3. A Legacy Of Swords
4. Moonlight Whispers
5. Steelwitch
Lineup:
Ungod – Bass, Guitar, Drums
Giorgos Papagiannakis – Vocals
Record Label: Cult Metal Classics
     


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Edited 11 April 2021
 

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