(7/10) Stormwitch is a band name most of you should be familiar with. The glorious early longplayers, such as ‘Tales of Terror’ and ‘Walpurgis Night’, were underground highlights in the mid 80’s. These records made Stormwitch to ‘the masters of black romantic’ and it was this band that brought Gerstetten, their home-village, for the first time on the heavy metal map.
Unfortunately Stormwitch couldn’t maintain this early success and several line-up changes didn’t add stability either. Stormwitch 2018, this is the two remaining founding members Andy Mück and Jürgen Wannenwetsch, supported by Tobias Kipp, Volker Schmietow and Marc Oppold.
This quintet recorded the eleventh studio album, which is entitled ‘Bound to the Witch’. The tracklist features eleven new songs and the Digipak includes three additional tunes from the earlier days.
A thing that’s very much connected to Stormwitch is Mück’s voice and therefor it’s not a surprise that the vocals are very much in the spotlight. Well-crafted vocal lines are the main asset of songs like ‘Bound to the Witch’. The title track is a melodic rocker with good hooks and an easy going expression.
Another typical Stormwitch tune is the opener ‘Songs of Steel’. It’s the pounding rhythm that reminds of earlier moments of glory and the same goes for ‘Stormwitch’. Traditional metal comes to forefront with ‘King George’ and also the dynamic ‘The Ghost of Mansfield Park’ deserves credit. I haven’t expected the guys being in such a good shape when it comes to songwriting.
I don’t know if it was necessary to put the acoustic ‘Nightingale’ at the end of the tracklist, being the closer of a pretty good album. The song isn’t a bad one but a bit more of a grande finale would have been beneficial.
Anyhow, in general there’s nothing wrong with ‘Bound to the Witch’. The album comes with a good sound, Stormwitch trademarks are present and the witch’s alive. ‘Bound to the Witch’ can’t compete with the first three albums, but I think that nobody seriously expected that. ‘Bound to the Witch’ is instead a well-done melodic metal album that’s better than expected – not more, but definitely also not less.
- Songs Of Steel
- Odin’s Ravens
- The Choir Of The Dead
- Bound To The Witch
- Life Is Not A Dream
- King George
- Ancient Times
- The Ghost Of Mansfield Park
- Stronger Than Heaven (Digipak Bonus)
- Rats In The Attic (Digipak Bonus)
- Priest Of Evil (Digipak Bonus)