Bad Omen Records
It’s been a couple of years now since I began bragging that Wytch Hazel is my favorite band on the planet, and that notion continues to hold true today. Since the release of III: Pentecost, the album that officially introduced me to their music, I’ve been a diehard fan ever since. Following the success of that most superbly crafted album was a task that I thought would prove to be a most challenging endeavor. However, with the release of their latest album IV: Sacrament, I am thrilled to say that my concern was completely unfounded.
Wytch Hazel are a band who relies on a classic rock sound to make their presence known in the modern world. Not an easy feat for sure, nevertheless, they do well in doing precisely that. Perhaps it’s nostalgia, or possibly a need for fans to grab on to a more organic feel than what is currently being offered in today’s musical cascade. I, personally believe that it can actually be attributed to the fact that Wytch Hazel are just that good as it pertains to their ability to wield the God-given talent they so flawlessly exude.
IV: Sacrament, is an album much like its predecessor that sounds as if it were written in the late 70s, either the 1970s or the 1670s, thanks to their medieval persona, but that also carries a production value fit for our current musical landscape. Frontman Colin Hendra is decisively haunting in his vocal delivery. With the heartfelt cry of such songs as “Angel of Light,” which evokes such emotional outpouring in such lines as “Angel, look to me, turn your face to me, I will battle thee,” or the ultra-feeling of “A Thousand Years.” Musically the twin guitar attack ala Iron Maiden, is prominent throughout the album and is mixed in such a way that it easily captures the vibe of the early 80s as well. Think Maiden meets Jethro Tull meets Wishbone Ash. Perhaps my favorite tune on the album comes via the straight-up rocker called “Strong Heart,” which boasts some seriously nasty guitar riffing.
IV: Sacrament much like the band's previous releases, present the struggles of life and faith in a call to battle mentality. In essence, the battle ultimately belongs to the Lord, but we should be prepared to heed the call. Other stand-out cuts include the anthemic hope of “Deliver Us,” The powerful opening track, “The Fire’s Control,” and the slightly out-of-place cut of the record, “Future is Gold,” which carries the glory of a bard song and with its acoustic laden majesty, could easily fit into any Tolkien movie adaptation. Such beauty and such amazing talent is so passionately captured here that one can only sit back and bask in its greatness.