As Above, So Below
Rise Above Records
I was very excited when I saw that these NWOBHM legends were about to release a new album after almost 26 years! Angel Witch are not only considered but they are also one of the most influential bands in the history of heavy metal music… due to their monumental self-titled debut album in 1980. After some line-up changes, various up & downs and two OK releases they disappeared from the scene for a few years. In the early 00s and after the release of the compilation “Resurrection”… they started warming things up and in the years to follow they gave several live shows.
Thus, the time has come and in 2012 they did release their new album with a new line-up again. Positively, the leading force behind the band, Kevin Heybourne (singer/guitarist) is here… the other guys are: the bassist Will Palmer (ex-Mourn), drummer Andy Prestridge (Winters) and the guitarist Bill Steer (Carcass, Firebird), mostly for the live shows. “As Above, So Below” contains 8 songs… 4 of which are from the older days of Angel Witch… “Dead Sea Scrolls” and “Witching Hour” both date back to 1983/84 whilst “Into The Dark” and “Guillotine” are even older. The production is fine (although it could have been more powerful & tight) and was done by Jaime Gomez Arellano (Ghost, The Gates Of Slumber).
The album opens supremely with “Dead Sea Scrolls”… a thing which enthuses the listener… bringing on mind the 80s era. The other 4 songs are new… but still in the same 80s heavy metal/NWOBHM style. Disappointingly, the album does not meet any great expectations… and it is quite uninteresting overall. I know that most of the journalists/reviewers out there have praised it… but they must hold their horses ‘cuz thinking that something is impressive doesn’t necessarily make it so. I also wanted to like it… and praise it… but I can’t… for it’s very average at best. Even though it lasts about 50 minutes you will get tired listening to it more than once in a row. Sadly… this isn’t nowhere near the band’s debut and it has nothing to offer… it’s so bland and generic that disappoints you eventually…