The tagline for Pittsburgh headbangers Icarus Witch is "Bow to No Trends," and that about sums up the band's debut full-length release, Capture the Magic. While this quartet hinted at its talent on the EP Roses on White Lace, the degree of improvement between that record and this one is dramatic. Indeed, Icarus Witch appears to be one of the few current metal bands that worship at the altar of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dio and Queensryche while also actually managing to develop their own sound – one to which melody is critical and in which out-of-control vocal screams have no place.
Standout tracks include the monumental opener "Storming the Castle," "Forevermore" and the title track. Vocalist Matthew Bizilia comes across as a combination of James LaBrie and Rick Mythiasin, while the other members of Icarus Witch play concisely with only flourishes of neoclassical guitar or mind-numbing double-kick drums. Capture the Magic is clean and crisp, and its gets better every time you play it. Sure, the song titles ("The Ghost of Xavier Holmes," "Awakening the Mountain Giants") reek of fantasy-based power metal – the band's name apparently came to bassist and keyboardist Jason Myers during a California séance – but if it's good enough for axe man George Lynch, who plays on a cover of Ozzy's "S.A.T.O.," it should be good enough for us.
1) Storming the Castle
2) Capture the Magic
5) The Ghost of Xavior Holmes
7) Nemeton Forest
8) Awakening the Mountain Giant