angel witch - as above, so below

Angel Witch: As Above, So Below (2012)

All I really knew about Angel Witch was that self-titled 1980 album, and that self titled song that was killer.  How many bands have written kick-ass songs named after themselves?  I was originally going to talk about how strong As Above, So Below is for a sophomore record coming over twenty years later, but apparently the band had two more records in between back in 1985-1986.  Never heard them, have no idea if they’re any good but apparently they got someone else besides Kevin Heybourne to sing vocals which was a huge mistake.  Which is I guess why no one talks about those albums and we’re jumping straight to this one…

So, for my reality As Above, So Below is the follow-up to the band’s 1980 debut.  Same lineup, Heybourne back on lead vocals, consistent artwork with the debut (even better, IMHO)…and guess what?  It’s pretty damn fantastic.  Does it hurt that this configuration of Angel Witch is a trio, and therefore granted bonus points for being my favorite rock configuration?  Certainly not, but what’s great about this album is how great the songwriting is after so many years…decades even.  There are still shades of the NWOBHM the band helped popularized, but it carries shades of doom that really give the songs a heavy velvet vibe.  Does that makes sense?  I’m on a lot of cold medication so it may not.  The opening track “Dead Sea Scrolls” carries everything I love in heavy metal, and differentiates for me the difference between a heavy metal band and simply a “metal” band.  Not a weak track on this one, but tracks like “Into the Dark,” “Upon This Cord,” and closer “Brainwashed” might be my personal highlights.

It’s been a cold minute since I’ve listened to Angel Witch but revisiting As Above, So Below is likely to change that.

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