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Angel Witch : Angel Witch
(Bronze - 1980)
Category : overlooked
4,5 stars

"Overlooked" is a relative thing. "Forgotten" might be more accurate, because when this album was released it did get its fair share of attention and for a brief moment it even seemed as if they would enter the annals of the NWOBHM movement as one of their most important bands, alongside the big names we still remember today (Motörhead, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Saxon,...). But due to lots of bad luck and personnel changes this debut album would finally prove to be their only release for a long time. When they did finally start to release new material, the songs just weren't that strong any more and all momentum had been lost anyway.

What made Angel Witch noteworthy in 1980, was the fact that they played a raw kind of Metal à la Black Sabbath, but speeded up and with an energy and power that could stand comparison with Motörhead. Some of their riffs also were precursors of things to come, as demonstrated by the song 'Angel of Death' (and also by the track 'Baphomet' released a year earlier on the cult sampler album 'Metal for Muthas'). Here the band sounds like an early version of dark Speed Metal bands like Slayer. There were a lot of Hard Rock bands in disguise in NWOBHM, but Angel With was undeniably in the corner of true Metal.

But it's not even their performance and their energy that made the band stand out. Angel Witch may have been an extreme sounding band (by 1980's standards), but above all they were damn good song writers who among others understood the importance of good vocal melodies and who knew how to write a memorable chorus. As a result all songs on the album stood the test of time and still sound great today, which cannot be said by many if not most other NWOBHM releases.

This album deserves its label of 'classic'.

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