Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Witch Cross-Axe to Grind

Hells Headbangers

"The cult is alive...WITCH CROSS have returned". So opens the promo material that came with "Axe To Grind" and, without coming across as too much of a fanboy here, truer words have seldom been spoken! Who could have imagined that all these years Witch Cross would return with a sophomore recording that was every bit a comeback album as well? With 1984's "Fit for Fight" being such a killer LP, albeit a cult LP, fans of Witch Cross would be justified in feeling leery about this new release. When "Demon in the Mirror" kicks in though all of those fears are thrown out the window! "Axe to Grind" picks up where "Fit to Fight" left off and showcases a band that still has plenty of fire in their gut. This is track after track of straight-up heavy metal all with that very distinct Witch Cross vibe. "Axe to Grind", which was mastered by Flemming Rasmussen (Metallica, Morbid Angel, Blind Guardian) and mixed by Chris Tsangarides (Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, Anvil), is one of those albums where you can't help but think of metal's heyday. Had this been released right after "Fit for Fight" there's no doubt that it would have made Witch Cross more of a household name. Vocalist Kevin Moore, who for all the world just seems to have just fallen out of the sky as there is no mention of him playing in other bands, is the perfect front-man for this Danish band as he's got the heavy metal 101 singing down pat! With founding members Mike "Wlad" Kock ( guitars) and Jan "Little John Field" (bass) serving as a link to the past (but still playing with the same fury they did back on "Fit for Fight") the new version of Witch Cross sounds both retro and modern. All that means is that Witch Cross' new album should find wide appeal. "Axe to Grind" has already found itself in heavy rotation in my office space and I look forward to holding a physical copy of it in my hands when it's released in July (just a FYI for anyone looking for birthday ideas for me this LP comes out 2 days before my 40th B-day!). I close with this little nugget of information-it sure looks as if my best of 2013 list has found another addition!


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