Seven Witches - Passage To The Other Side

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Noise Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 48:24:00

Why, why, why did you invite James Rivera (ex-Hellstar, Destiny's End) to sing on this album, because this has to be one of the hottest CDs that has been diminished by this vocal hindrance?

Going through both Bobby Lucas (Exhibition) and Wade Black (ex-Crimson Glory) meant that Seven Witches needed a third addition to the in and out vocal merry-go-round that is frontman for this US power/thrash metal band. James Rivera would not have been my first choice but he does have a Bruce Dickinson thing going in "Johnny," a Halford thing going on "Metal Messiah," and not forgetting the constant references to Annihilator. And like Halford's Crucible album, Seven Witches manage to mix 80s metal with heavy modern metal.

I have to say that the music on this album is first-rate. It is what heavy metal is all about. I'd almost be willing to say buy this album for the music first, because it is seriously hindered by James Rivera. Passage To The Other Side is heavy in every aspect with hardly a hint of the clean style of Euro power metal that is extremely popular at the moment. Jack Frost and co (this time featuring Brian Craig (d) and the ever brilliant Joey Vera (b)) have gelled together extremely well considering the relatively short time the band have been together in this line-up. In fact, this is testament to the professionalism and determination of the indomitable Jack Frost who really is an incredible guitarist. The band have taken the modern, heavy elements of their last album Xiled To Infinity And One and thrown them all into this tough album. And they've thrown in a cover of the classic Def Leppard track "Wasted" from On Through The Night.

This is a classic metal album and I think one that should get a lot of attention, but it's not an album that I can recommend too highly because, whilst I find the music awe-inspiring, the vocals leave me distant and cold.

Similar To: Annihilator, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest

[This review originally appeared March 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Dance With The Dead / Mental Messiah / Johnny / Apocalyptic Dreams / Fever In The City / Betrayed / The Last Horizon / Nature's Wrath / Wasted / Passage To The Other Side

James Rivera - vocals
Jack Frost - guitars
Joey Vera - bass
Brian Craig - drums

Second War In Heaven (1999)
City Of Lost Souls (2000)
Xiled To Infinity And One (2002)
Passage To The Other Side (2003)
Year Of The Witch (2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: February 20th 2005
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website:
Hits: 1046
Language: english


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