Seven Witches
Call Upon the Wicked
Style: True Heavy Metal
Release date: 3 June, 2011
Playing time: 43:44

The main thing I noticed on the new and eighth Seven Witches album, Call Upon the Wicked, is that vocalist James Rivera has rejoined leader/guitarist Jack Frost. The last time Rivera graced a SW album with his distinctive falsetto croon was 2004’s Year of the Witch, a celebrated affair of progressive/power/thrash metal. He’s a veteran metal vocalist who has lent his talent to countless amounts of bands — when he's not concentrating on his day job with the reunited Helstar, that is. Symphony X bassist Mike LePond and drummer Taz Marazz also join the club.

Seven Witches’ last album, 2005’s Amped, featured Alex Tecchio of Non-Fiction on vocals. Although creative in its own right, Amped didn't really work in my opinion. Tecchio’s voice is awesome, but he and Frost just didn't gel together well and the songs just weren't that strong.

Frost is an accomplished guitarist, first cutting his teeth with Savatage on the Poets and Madmen tour in 2001-02. He didn't really play a prominent role in Savatage, but with SW, he's in total control. However, with each release, the band has been all over the map, musically speaking.

So, do the songs on Call Upon the Wicked deliver? Yes, they do.

CD opener "Fields of Fire" has a raunchy, crunchy riff with pounding double bass. Rivera’s piercing screams and the band’s mid-paced groove gets the album off to a great start. The 9-minute “End of Days” with its Spanish flamenco acoustic guitar intro, doomy Sabbath riff and Uli Jon Roth guitar solo make this a standout track. There’s also a very interesting and beefed up cover version of Cream’s "White Room," as well as three live bonus tracks; "Metal Tyrant" from Xiled To Infinity And One, "Metal Asylum" and "Jacob" from Year of the Witch.

The key ingredients to any SW album is the distinctive vocalists Frost has always been able to recruit, as well as his crunchy riffs and over-the-top solo playing style. This is a solid release and puts Seven Witches back on track. I just hope they can keep this lineup, as it is possibly the strongest one yet.


01. Fields of Fire
02. Lilith
03. Call Upon the Wicked
04. Ragnarock
05. End of Days
06. Mind Games
07. Harlot of Troy
08. Eyes of Fame
09. White Room
10. Metal Tyrant (Bonus Track)
11. Metal Asylum (Bonus Track)
12. Jacob (Bonus Track)

Label: Massacre Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Kelley Simms
Date: 28 May, 2011