One of the original (though, arguably, slightly overlooked) members of the 1970’s new wave of British heavy metal, Angel Witch haven’t released a new studio album in seven years, and before that, over twenty. Much like 2012’s comeback predecessor, As Above, So Below, you know, more or less, what you’re going to get under the AW banner with this latest offering. Doom-tinged, snarling guitars, harking back to metal’s golden days of yore.
The wheel has most certainly not been reinvented here. Why would you want to change such an iconic, and recognisable sound, anyway? Well, maybe some mixing tweaks – and a wee blast of nitro – could bring it up to date, without obliterating the character. Angel Of Light certainly represents a thrashier, pacier, heavier, and, realistically, ‘more metal’ Angel Witch. Yet, in spite of this slightly modernised approach, Kevin Heybourne’s inimitable vocals, in cahoots with traditional (albeit beefed up) riffs, keep the flashback flowing throughout. This totally reaffirms the belief that there is no other band quite like them.
If you loved them back in the day, this album will do no damage to that relationship, with strong songwriting, and energised performances all round. It’s simply no messing, old school heavy metal, but with an invigorated attack, from start to finish. While I can appreciate the classic tone on older releases may appeal more to long-term fans, I find this one superior in delivery. It’s Angel Witch at a fresh peak.