Stormwitch - Season Of The Witch review


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Band: Stormwitch
Album: Season Of The Witch
Release date: January 2015

01. Evil Spirit
02. Taliesin
03. Last Warrior
04. True Until The End
05. Season Of The Witch
06. Runescape
07. At The End Of The World
08. The Trail Of Tears
09. Harper In The Wind
10. The Singer's Curse
11. Different Eyes

Stormwitch sound remarkably spry for a band entering its 36th year. As one of those bands that burst onto the scene with an unforgettable debut in the '80s and then petered out with a series of on-again, off-again reunions, their sporadic stream of follow-up albums under varying lineups has been subject to a gradual decline in quality. The decline has been mercifully slow, however, and their last two albums (in 2002 and 2004, respectively) held their own. Even now, 11 years since Witchcraft, Stormwitch have enough fire in the belly to come up with something still listenable; but it isn't quite a glorious comeback.

The first two songs, "Evil Spirit" and "Taliesin," are easily the best that Season Of The Witch has to offer. While not as spectacular as what Stormwitch could achieve at its height, these songs definitely hail from the same glorious line; they call to mind the classic material with their infectious hooks and determinedly economical musicianship.

Andy Mück's voice has aged pretty well; while he carries a more noticeable rasp and a slightly tighter range, he's still the same resplendent gentleman who piloted the band way back in the glory days of Walpurgis Night. He gives these songs some old-school flavor that make them more listenable than perhaps they should be. Much as I wanted to like this album, and much as I gave it time to grow on me, most of these songs just can't hold up to scrutiny. None of the expert and unique songwriting prowess that made Stormwitch such a memorable and powerful band in its youth seems to have survived; what remains can make for a genuinely pleasing experience purely for nostalgic reasons, but only in its most successful moments, and it can achieve nothing greater.

"The Last Warrior" gives the impression of being unfinished at times - small gaps in the action that shouldn't be there, moments that sound like the band stumbling over itself occasionally. In fact, much of the album is riddled with these awkward rough patches, which jerk the listener out of the mood from time to time, and it seems uncharacteristic of such an experienced and well-traveled band of Stormwitch to leave in such uncomfortable transitions and little snags.

There are certain songs, like "The Last Warrior" and the title track, which have very little appeal and further halt the development of any kind of atmosphere. "Harper In The Wind" and "At The End Of The World" aren't too shabby, and during songs like these the nostalgic capabilities of Season Of The Witch hit their stride and whip up something pleasantly enveloping, but it delivers little of the promise that a new Stormwitch album promised.

And in case you were wondering… yeah, I'm pretty sure that "Runescape" is about the game. Yes, THAT Runescape. 

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 2
Production: 5


Written on 04.04.2015 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 128 users
04.04.2015 - 22:25
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Good album indeed, as come back and for old timers. Some songs are goo some no, but decent , enjoyable
finally some metal , not d beast here ;
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

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