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Witchwood - Before the Winter Award winner

Before the Winter
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 11 November 2020, 12:29 PM

All the bands that are trying to make a musical worked based on the ways from Rock ‘n’ Roll from the late 60’s and early 60’s have to deal with the problem: how to make something old, but with your own personality? The answer must be given the musicians by themselves, trusting that their senses are enough to light the way. Fortunately, there are good works, as the Italian sextet WITCHWOOD, with their second release, “Before the Winter”.

Their music is based on a form of Rock ‘n’ Roll with influences from THE BEATLES (from “Revolver” on, their more experimental age), JETHRO TULL (for some Folk/Progressive Rock parts), RENAISSANCE, Marc Bolan but with some Hard Rock weight entering the songs as well. They have that bluesy Groove along Folk touches as well. But the more interesting thing about their music: it’s melodic, catching and with many hooks, but always personal. To a Retro Rock band like them, the best is to have a simple and organic sound quality, but improved by modern recording technologies. And they got such fusion, allowing their music to have a rough touch, but it’s clean and defined, in a way that even your grandma can understand and like.

Lysergic and melodic, their songs are all excellent, but as a beginner’s pack for the ones that still don’t know their work, the catchy melodies of “Anthem for a Child” (excellent harmonies and vocals, along with a tender ambience) and “A Taste of Winter” (the sound of old Hammond is always a good choice to make some harmonies, here improved by flutes), the Blues/Rock groove of “Feelin’”, the deeper and intense “Hesperus” (great vocals, indeed), the nasty Hard Rock feeling (in a way similar to LED ZEPPELIN, especially due the excellent guitars and the heavy and intense work from bass guitar and drums) heard on “Crazy Little Lover”, and the personal version for “Child Star” (the bonus track from LP, a cover for old Marc Bolan’s song) are the right songs. Oh, come on, people: listen to it from the beginning to its end, because this album is easy to love.

It’s impressive that a Retro Rock in such way can sound so alive and personal. So take time to hear what WITCHWOOD is up to with “Before the Winter”, and understand why they’re one of the best Retro Rock bands in the scene, even better than some successful acts that are living off their old works.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Anthem for a Child
2. A Taste of Winter
3. Feelin’
4. A Crimson Moon
5. Hesperus
6. No Reason to Cry
7. Nasrid
8. Crazy Little Lover
9. Slow Colours of Shade
10. Child Star \[LP bonus track/Marc Bolan cover]
Riccardo “Ricky” Dal Pane - Vocals, Guitars, Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin
Antonino “Woody” Stella - Lead Guitar
Stefano “Steve” Olivi - Hammond, Piano, Synth & Moog
Samuele “Sam” Tesori - Flute, Harmonica
Luca “Celo” Celotti - Bass
Andrea “Andy” Palli - Drums
Record Label: Jolly Roger Records


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