ANGEL WITCH — Angel Witch (review)

ANGEL WITCH — Angel Witch album cover Album · 1980 · NWoBHM Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
I hear lots of Iron Maiden in here. Especially on their first album. Wait a minute! This came out a whole year BEFORE Iron Maiden's eponymously titled debut album. Just goes to show that even though a band can present the world with something incredible and unique that it doesn't mean that they will be the ones to reap what they sow. ANGEL WITCH is the perfect example of that and despite really never doing anything better after this debut album, they still have it on their resume that this DID come out before anything Maiden released, therefore deserving a spot in music history which according to the ratings it certainly hasn't gone unnoticed. Not saying that MAIDEN totally ripped them off or anything but they come to mind first as the closest heirs to this particular sound of NWOBHM. In fact there is more than the sound that is a connection here.

The band was originally formed under the name of Lucifer but split up leaving original drummer Steve Jones to join up with Bruce Dickinson to start the new band Speed. Small world or wall smirled? The remnants of Lucifer are what became ANGEL WITCH on this debut album.I have the 25th Anniversary Expanded Version (oh so far behind am I!) and it has countless bonus tracks. Overall the original album is mandatory for any metal collection and the bonus tracks are quite pleasant and worth having in their own right. ANGEL WITCH will forever deservingly be known for their contribution to the metal scene for this one album but also serve as a history lesson for the reality of the musical world at the time when before the internet it was quite easy to borrow a band's entire sound without anyone knowing and basically stealing the legacy leaving the original creators only a footnote in history.
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siLLy puPPy wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Hey Certified. Thanks for the correction. I got sloppy on this one. My general point is true though that despite being a part of that first wave of the movement, bands like Angel Witch didn't reap much from their contributions to the sound while Maiden went on to rule the world. Thanks for the recomendation. Cirith Ungol is a band that has been on my list to check out and must certainly do so soon :)
Warthur wrote:
more than 2 years ago
I can confirm that Cirith Ungol are a solid recommendation.
Certif1ed wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Have to correct myself; The Soundhouse tapes were recorded 30-31 December 1978. I haven't established the date they took them along (in person) to the Soundhouse.
Certif1ed wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Quick recommendation - if you like this and Maiden, check out the Canadian band Cirith Ungol's "Frost and Fire", released in April 1980. Go figure - in places, there's the Maiden sound from a band that almost certainly had never heard of Maiden - and the rest is great stuff too.
Certif1ed wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Have to correct you - it is true that this was released before "Iron Maiden", but that was released on 14th April 1980, while "Angelwitch" was released on 12th March 1980. However, Maiden's "Soundhouse" tapes (the recordings that some say kicked off the whole NWoBHM in the first place) were released in November 1979, so this does not predate Maiden's first release,. Maiden, of course had been touring their music prior to recording it, and formed in 1975 (just!). Angelwitch formed in 1977, but original drummer Steve Jones went off to form a band called Speed, which featured one Bruce Dickinson on vocals... it's all very incestuous! The point is, really, that Maiden are a bit of a history lesson in themselves! I agree, though, this is an astonishingly accomplished album for the time.

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