Icarus Witch is back with their 5th album, Rise. These guys are a traditional five-piece Classic Metal band hailing from Pennsylvania, USA. Rise is their first album with brand new vocalist Chistopher Shaner. Their previous and original vocalist Matthew Bizilia had a high-pitched growl that gave the band a very excessive NWOBHM quality with many early Iron Maiden influences. As a result of that formula, the music of Icarus Witch ultimately became very one dimensional. Now, with Shaner taking the controls, Icarus Witch finally has the opportunity to grow and fully develop with more diverse compositions and produce a richer vocal quality as well.
Upon the initial listen to Rise, the album contains a conventional Hard Rock sound with many modern elements. All of the compositions are extremely solid and filled with supreme, emotion-filled vocals. Fans of Icarus Witch will immediately recognize how the addition of Shaner has affected the core sound of the band. Shaner provides a dominant and expressive vocal performance and contains a much more dynamic talent than Bizilia could ever produce.
One of the finest songs on the album both vocally and musically is the track is “Coming Of The Storm”. Although a paltry three minutes long, the continual marching rhythm helps drive the infectious and emotive vocal and chorus line along with a great guitar riff.
It is clear the vocals of Shaner are the hero on this album. Not only does Shaner have an incredible vocal talent, but he single-handedly is able to dictate the direction of each track. The crisp and sharp production of the album also prevents his vocals from being drowned out by the twin guitar attack of Quinn Lukas and Dave Watson.
The hooks and melodies produced by Lukas and Watson are superb and precise. These guys play with such power and professionalism, they could stand toe to toe with some of the greats. One of the best guitar-oriented tracks on the album is “Break The Cycle”, which contains an incredibly heavy and emotional riff that drives the entire track; and of course a masterful solo is thrown in as well.
All in all, Rise is clearly the best work to date produced by Icarus Witch. Their new formula certainly works extremely well for them. If they can expand and grow from this album, the mastery is endless. This is a band that will be making a lot of noise in the future and Rise is the catapult to put them over the top.
Official Band Website