Flight Nineteen [Sweet Danger, Single B-Side][*][Version]
Hades Paradise [12" Single B-Side][*][Version]
Sweet Danger [#][*]
Angel of Death [#][*]
Extermination Day [#][*]
Angel Witch [#][*]
First Issued in 1980, Angel Witch's Eponymous Debut Draws Heavily Upon Satanic and Witchcraft Imagery with the Band?s Sound Displaying a Fiercely Dark Mixture of Gothic Melody Mixed with Weighty Guitar Riffs which Are Comp... more »arable to Vintage Black Sabbath. Although Never a Huge Commercial Success, the Album Brought the Band a Loyal Underground Following and Later Inspired the Emerging San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Scene with Bands Like Metallica and Testament Citing Angel Witch as a Major Influence on their Musical Direction. This Nwobhm Classic is Widely Regarded Amongst Fans as the Band's Finest Hour and the Re-mastered Edition Adds a Raft of Bonus Tracks Including the Single, 'loser' Along with Several B-sides. Also Included is the Track 'baphomet' which Appeared on the Legendary Metal for Muthas Album, as Well as a BBC Friday Rock Show Session which was Recorded in March 1980.« less
First Issued in 1980, Angel Witch's Eponymous Debut Draws Heavily Upon Satanic and Witchcraft Imagery with the Band?s Sound Displaying a Fiercely Dark Mixture of Gothic Melody Mixed with Weighty Guitar Riffs which Are Comparable to Vintage Black Sabbath. Although Never a Huge Commercial Success, the Album Brought the Band a Loyal Underground Following and Later Inspired the Emerging San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Scene with Bands Like Metallica and Testament Citing Angel Witch as a Major Influence on their Musical Direction. This Nwobhm Classic is Widely Regarded Amongst Fans as the Band's Finest Hour and the Re-mastered Edition Adds a Raft of Bonus Tracks Including the Single, 'loser' Along with Several B-sides. Also Included is the Track 'baphomet' which Appeared on the Legendary Metal for Muthas Album, as Well as a BBC Friday Rock Show Session which was Recorded in March 1980.
"Silly me,this isn't merely ANOTHER pressing of the 'Resurrection' import CD(see my review)that I assumed it was JUST BECAUSE it features the very same cover.Turns out that it's a reissue of the stunning 1980 self-titled debut from the beloved underdogs of the NWOBHM movement.You get the lp's original ten scorchers,plus ten(10)...count them,bonus cuts extra that are of alternative versions,rare b-sides,etc.Very good.An absolute must-have."
Milt Mori | Sparta, NJ | 04/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's too bad Angel Witch never got as much publicity as Motorhead, Venom, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Diamond Head, Saxon and Def Leppard. They're one of the best! When I hear bands like Megadeth, Metallica, and Testament--especialy Testament--they sound like a mere reflection of Angel Witch. The melodies, solos, clean tone, and much more makes these guys an important bedrock to be contended with. This album is certainly a gem for anyone interested in thrash and its development. You can't understand thrash without knowing who Angel Witch. Believe me--just ask Dave Mustaine!"
A Lost Classick
ProEvil | MA | 04/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's sad how many metal fans have never and will never hear this album. This is full-forearm spike band metal from the 80s that just bleeds style and class. Unfortunately this band never achieved much fame and subsequent albums are not of the same caliber. For those with ears to hear..."
The definitive album of the NWOBHM era!
TheManWhoKnewTooMuch | Rockville, USA | 04/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, Iron Maiden ended up eclipsing Angel Witch by leaps and bounds commercially speaking and the s/t Maiden debut surely is a landmark album. BUT, as far as the NWOBHM era goes, short-lived EMI label mates Angel Witch did them one better on their Bronze debut.
This album is absolute PERFECTION (and thus utterly essential) conjuring up the darkest and heaviest of Black Sabbath combined with excellent musicianship (particularly the unique guitar playing of mainman Kevin Heybourne whose anguished vocals are a perfect match for the music) and fueled by a similar, seemingly punk inspired youthful NRG that made the early Maiden albums so undeniable. 'Angel Witch' with its signature opening guitar lick is an anthem for the ages, 'Atlantis' a canvas of sinister chromatic dissonance, the haunting 'Sorcerers' the epitome of sheer black majesty, and 'Angel of Death' blessed with a riff so inherently evil it would scare the pants off even Iommi! Is it any wonder this album became hugely influential on many future metal trailblazers and has been cited by everyone from Celtic Frost's Tom Warrior and doom gods Trouble and Candlemass, to the late, great Chuck Schuldiner who practically laid out the blueprint for death metal with his band Death.
Now comes this 25th Anniversary edition that makes all the previous AW re-issues obsolete. Any Angel Witch fan has to be in heavy metal heaven (or hell if you like) seeing that this 20-song anthology not only adds the 3 songs from the somewhat commercial 'Loser' 7" EP but, more importantly, early compilation-only gems 'Baphomet' (from the legendary 'Metal For Muthas') and 'Extermination Day' off 'Metal Explosion' (plus 3 more cuts from those same BBC sessions), and a pair of rare B-sides 'Hades Paradise' and 'Flight Nineteen' (originally from the 'Sweet Danger' 12") A few very early demo tracks aside this is the definite documentation of Angel Witch as we have come to know and worship them.
And worship you shall. The Witch is dead - long live the Witch! "
"Actually, this is one of the best albums of all time in ANY genre. Where do I even begin...
Angel Witch... this is the British metal band's 1980 debut, with the original lineup up of three - Kevin Heybourne on guitar and vocals, Kevin Riddles on bass, and Dave Hogg on drums. However, this lineup wouldn't last long, and Kevin Heybourne, the leader as well as the true HEART and SOUL of Angel Witch, went through a great struggle to keep his band from disintigrating as the 1980s progressed. He managed to find replacements as needed (his bandmates kept bailing) and a couple more Angel Witch albums were released in the 80s. They were excellent as well, but the greatest treasure is this debut.
These songs are EVIL to the CORE. They are irrisistably ominous and menacing, and there is a tremendous amount of passion in them. A big factor here is Kevin Heybourne's singing, which matches this type of music PERFECTLY. His voice conveys astonishing despair, agony, and doom. It gives me goosebumps every time I listen to this album. And he also plays guitar here! How he managed to play the intricate metal guitar lines he does AND sing at the same time when they played live back in the day is beyond me, but I DO know that it takes a massive amount of talent to do that. Heybourne's riffs and solos are laced with just as much creativity and style as his singing. His solos just PULSATE with feeling, and feed directly off of the creepy, evil atmospheres that ths band is so gifted at creating. Speaking of atmospheres...
Angel Witch creates INCREDIBLE atmospheres in their music. Every song on here is utterly HAUNTING, and in each's own unique way at that. Sometimes there will be subtle synths in the background, or an organ, but it's never overpowering. The surging guitar is always in control here, as it should be in metal. You can hear great examples of these keyboard touches near the end of the title track, as well as in "Sorcerers." Another subtle touch is the way Heybourne uses guitar effects. He'll sometimes use clean (rather than distorted) intros with atmospheric echo effects to lead into a heavier section, like in "Gorgon," and "Devil's Tower." In "Free Man," a slower track, and in the beginning of "Sorcerers," he uses what sounds like a flanger with the clean sound. "Devil's Tower" also has a nice chorus effect in it, which, together with the echo, makes you feel like you've been transported to some distant mystical world. "Devil's Tower" is the last track on here. It's an incredible and dynamic instrumental song that switches from 4/4 time to 7/4 in the middle and culminates in another eruptive solo from Heybourne. I feel that "Gorgon" is another standout track here, and it happens to also have a time change - from 3/4 in the subtle but ominous, clean-toned beginning to 4/4 as the song suddenly bludgeons the listener with chaotic, snarling distorted guitar.
A great bonus is that this album has now been released as a 25th Anniversary Expanded Edition with what amounts to almost an entire additional album's worth of rare Angel Witch songs that are just as good as the original ten tracks of the album! In fact, songs like "Loser," "Suffer" (which has a really cool shuffle feel), and the instrumental "Dr. Phibes" are arguably some of the best tracks of all on this CD! Those three songs in particular have everything I described above, but are even MORE potent! This album also includes fantastic liner notes that detail Angel Witch's journey in their early days.
Well, I think that just about covers it. The reason I wrote this long review is that I feel there is something truly unique and special about this band, ESPECIALLY on this album. I've listened to a lot of great metal, but there is something different about this Angel Witch debut. It creates downright magical atmospheres, and is filled to the brim with intensely passionate singing and musicianship. If only things had worked out better for Kevin and his band... they could have been as big as Iron Maiden. At least we still have this brilliant debut which I will unflinchingly call one of the best metal albums of all time."