Icarus Witch is a band that truly slid under my radar for a long time. Having spent all my life in the Baltimore area, I was very much entrenched in the Mid Atlantic metal scene. The Pittsburgh scene was a bit foreign to me. Being in the area now for a little over eight years I’ve come to find that there is quite a cool scene here. My discovery of Icarus Witch came by way of seeing the Witch’s new singer, the amazing Andrew D’Cagna, put on an awsome show with his project Ironflame. That meeting and contact with Icarus Witch’s former vocalist, Matthew Bizilia, in regard to his project Habitual Sins made me realize that I had been missing out on some great traditional metal. Then came the announcement that D’Cagna (whose voice is just true metal magic) was now the singer for Icarus Witch. That announcement included a video of the title track of their new album, Goodbye Cruel World. I knew the album would be a true metal gem.
That title track is the album opener and an extremely strong song. It’s melodic and almost prog metal sounding. I felt it reminded me of Anubis Gate’s more recent material. The riffs are clean and tight and the solos are killer. Having seen guitarist, Quinn Lukas, shred it up with Ironflame I was expecting some top notch guitar work and that’s what’s happening here. “The Flood” is a prime example. It’s an instrumental that begins with clean guitar with heavy reverb and the bass kinda being really melodic and trans-like. That trans is broken by some heavy as fuck metal riffs. The dual lead riffing throughout the song is brilliant. Then comes the shredding….I’m picky about instrumental metal tunes but this one is exactly how it should be. It also provides an awesome segue way to “Silence of the Sirens,” a seriously melodic number with a really catchy chorus; especially towards the end where D’Cagna’s vocal magic is on display.
The first three songs on this album, the holy trinity if you will, is worth getting this album in and of themselves. I already went into the opening title track and it being melodic yet powerful but it’s the follow up,”Misfortune Teller,” that takes that power and runs with it. This song has 80s metal written all over it while being a powerful modern metal song. Catchy riffs, soaring vocals, shredding solos; these guys are not reinventing the wheel here, they’re just making fun as fuck heavy metal that brings back that same feeling I got when I first heard Priest or Maiden. “Lightning Strikes” reminds me of something Y&T would have put out. Upbeat melodic metal just oozing of melody. This song straddles the fence between metal and arena rock and that is actually part of the magic here. The addition of Andrew D’Cagna was a genius move on their part. This guy can sing anything. His soaring vocals on “Through Your Eyes” are clean and melodic. This song was a grower for me but has since become one of my favorites on the alum.
The anticipation for this release was huge and the end result is exactly what I was expecting. This album is fun, catchy, melodic metal with huge hooks. I’m just beginning to familiarize myself with this band’s back catalog but right now this album is in heavy rotation. “Goodbye Cruel World” is exactly the kind of album we need to help keep the metal flame glowing.