September 16, 2006

Music DVD Review: Seven Witches - Year of the Witch

Recently, I have been introduced to more and more new music, it never seems to end. That is a good thing. Now, have I heard of Seven Witches? Yes. Have I heard of Jack Frost? Yes. I have I ever heard them? No. So, now that we have that out of the way, let's take a look at the disk.

Years of the Witch turned out to be a great way to be introduced to the band. All that is required to enjoy Seven Witches and their music is a love for pure heavy metal. The 75 minute concert more than delivers the goods.

I was surprised to find that they have been around for less than ten years, which is a good thing. It is always great to find a band turning out quality heavy metal that hasn't been corrupted by the worlds of nu metal, emo, screamo, hardcore, and whatever else you can think of. While I do enjoy parts of those other genre's, there is so little real metal around, that I have been able to find, that when you hear a group like Seven Witches, it is a breath of fresh air.

The band takes the stage to the cheers of the crowd and proceed to deliver power metal in a pure form. No rapping or screaming here, just a dose of melodic power metal, delivered by a group of musicians who know how to handle their instruments. From the opening of "Dance with the Dead" to the anthemic "Metal Tyrant" through "Camelot" and the show closer "Mental Messiah," there is a lot to like here.

Jack Frost is a very impressive guitar player, who reminds me a bit of Savatage's Chris Caffrey. His guitar is the backbone of Seven Witches, upon which the rest is hung. From the heavy riffs to the speedy solos, he has the chops on which to build the metal. The other high point is vocalist James Rivera, with his Bruce Dickinson crossed with Rob Halford style voice, he adds to that pure power metal sound. Unfortunately, after watching the disk I have found that Rivera has joined the list of former Seven Witches singers.

Track listing:
1) Open
2) Dance With the Dead
3) Apocalyptic Dreams
4) Metal Tyrant
5) The Answer
6) Johnny
7) Jam Session
8) Can''t Find My Way
9) Incubus
10) Metal Asylum
11) Warmth of Winter
12) Camelot
13) Natures Wrath
14) Cries of the Living
15) Passage to the Other Side
16) Mental Messiah

This DVD is much more than just a concert, there is much more to see.

First there are three interview segments, totalling nearly an hour with founder, and only remaining original member, Jack Frost. The first interview is Frost telling of the history of Seven Witches, from the formation at the end of his prior band, Frost Bite, and his fateful meeting with singer Bobby Lucas. It is a nice success story of how hard work pays off when they get signed and are able to release their music to the world. The next segment has him being interviewed on many aspects of the bands sound, and Frost's experiences. The final interview gets into the studio work and the mixing of the raw recordings into the finished product.

There is a music video of sorts for the band's anthem, "Camelot." It compiles concert footage all of the bands singers performing the song. Pretty clever if you ask me, and I know, you didn't.

Finally, there is an archive of live video performance, in raw, unpolished form, covering the band's entire career. There is over a half hour of live music from all three of their singers (to that point). The footage further shows them to be an impressive live metal act. Unfortunately, there is no track listing or any real chapter breaks for this section.

Bottomline. This is a must for fans, and for anyone who loves metal. This is a band that has gained a new fan in me, and I will be sure to pick up their CDs, until then, this will tide me over. An impressive, powerful performance from a band that loves the music.

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