[Review] Wytch Hazel – IV: Sacrament

Wytch Hazel are a band from Lancaster, UK, who play a Heavy Rock/Metal sound with strong Prog and Folk influences. Since 2011 they have released several EPs and splits, as well as 4 full-lengths, the latest of which “IV: Sacrament” was released on June 02, 2023 via Bad Omen Records and contains 10 tracks. An album that once again confirms the style and thematic orientation of the lyrics of the band led by eclectic frontman Colin Hendra. The album opens with “The Fire’s Control,” a track of impact, with well-constructed guitar riffs and a heavy matrix between Rock and Metal. The band’s retro imprint blends with a fresh and modern sound, combining accessible melodies with a solid structure that is enriched by tempo changes at the right moment. The following “Angel of Light” features engaging guitar riffs and a dynamic and expressive vocal over a solid and energetic rhythm section. Carrying bass lines give body to the track, whose sound incorporates elements of Rock and Metal with a retro touch that takes us back to the early days of NWOBHM. “Time and Doubt” opens with a bombastic atmosphere built on guitar riffs, then with a change accelerates to a Hard Rock sound. The vocals give a melodic touch to the sound, and then in the second half alternate with solo guitar inserts. An energetic guitar riff and gritty, rhythmic drumming characterise “Strong Heart” where the band’s engaging melodies are mixed with heavy rock traits. The choral vocal offers refrains that remain imprinted in the mante, and then in the middle part an instrumental section offers good guitar interludes. The opening theme returns and the song closes. With its softer, markedly melodic sounds, “Deliver Us” shows the softer side of the band. Good guitar work intertwines with the sometimes choral vocals, in a musical crescendo that makes this semi-ballad interesting, with a brief instrumental insert in the second half, before returning to the singing and closing. “A Thousand Years” is a track that alternates passages of melodic Hard Rock with accelerations and tempo changes. In the middle part, the band offers a delicate insert with acoustic guitar, then increases the intensity and offers a fine guitar solo. The album’s shortest track “Gold Light” is a 1:24-minute interlude with orchestrations and dilated, symphonic sounds that leads us to the following “Endless Battle.” Tying in with the previous one, it opens with well-crafted guitar riffs, and then develops a sound reminiscent of bands like Rainbow. The acoustic guitar intertwines with the electric riffs, while the vocalist gives a fine performance in interpreting the lyrics. The rhythm section is solid and supports the song’s development well. Dreamy guitar arpeggios open “Future Is Gold,” showing the band’s Folk Rock influences. The vocals are warm and expressive and add a melodic touch to the sound, offering a delicate passage full of pathos. In the second part, an instrumental section offers a fine interweaving of guitar and mandolin, gently accompanying us to the finale. The album ends with “Digging Deeper” which is the longest track in duration, exceeding six minutes. The band returns to the more energetic sounds that characterised the previous tracks, with a Folk touch that blends with Rock/Metal. A track that pleasantly concludes the listening, increasing in intensity as the minutes go by, alternating vocal passages with instrumentals that explore all the different influences that make up the band’s sound. An enjoyable listen that combines Hard Rock traits with a melodic and accessible imprint, with intense vocals, well-constructed riffs and solid rhythm sections. The lyrics are well interpreted, offering a sung test at times full of pathos and melodic refrains. An album that explores a softer side of heavy rock, bringing classic and retro atmospheres into a modern context. A linear, engaging tracklist with solid but not complex tracks, making it an enjoyable listen for all lovers of more melodic Hard Rock.


01. The Fire’s Control (03:49)
02. Angel of Light (04:50)
03. Time and Doubt (04:46)
04. Strong Heart (03:58)
05. Deliver Us (04:02)
06. A Thousand Years (04:43)
07. Gold Light (01:24)
08. Endless Battle (05:16)
09. Future Is Gold (03:46)
10. Digging Deeper (06:23)


Colin Hendra / Drums, Guitars, Vocals, Piano & Organ
Alex Haslam / Guitars
Andrew Shackleton / Bass Guitar

Ed Turner / Mandolin & Mellotron

Wytch Hazel |Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Bad Omen Records |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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