Rating: 8 of 10
The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania band first came to my attention when they backed up Paul Di’Anno on one of his US tours. Paul is no dummy, he knew how to surround himself with some great musicians. Metal Hammer magazine dubbed Icarus Witch the first New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal band. I mention all of this because if you aren’t familiar with them, and love Maiden, Priest, Dio, Queensryche, etc. are a fan of the bands grouped into NWOBHM or just flat out old school heavy metal, this band may have a lot to offer you. They also add some progressive flavor from time to time that reminds me of more of Rush than say Opeth.
What they’ve done on Goodbye Cruel World is mix the flavors mentioned above with an updated production value, giving you a blend of the old with the new. And they pull it off throughout the album, which to me has very few low spots or songs I would skip over. The album is definitely a contender for my end of year list. Incoming singer Andrew D’Cagna’s vocals are clear and powerful, although he draws from from the old school, he does it without sounding cliche. Guitarist Quinn Lukas is on point as always, and does on one guitar what a lot of bands can’t with two players. There are pieces of songs where he’s mixing in chords or progressions that are atypical sounding, but just work. The interplay between Lukas and D’Cagna is great, their melodies intertwine with one another in many places, giving you moments that easily get stuck in your head. Bassist Jason Myers, has been with the band almost since the inception, and his playing is a mix between Steve Harris and Jimmy Bain, no slouches by any stretch.
Would definitely recommend this to anyone that remotely enjoys any of the bands mentioned above, especially if you have one of those friends that continuously tells you that new music isn’t any good, or that music died in 89. I think they’d be hard pressed to continue to say that after hearing this album.
Stand out tracks: “Goodbye Cruel World”, “Misfortune Teller”, “Lightning Strikes”, “Through Your Eyes”, “Silence Of The Siren”