Published on December 10th, 2018 | by Justin G.
Icarus Witch: Goodbye Cruel World (Cleopatra)
It’s been six long years since we last had a new Icarus Witch album in our hands. It was 2012 to be exact, and the Pittsburgh-based traditional metal band had just upended expectations with a new singer and a new sound on Rise. Six years later and they’ve done it again with Goodbye Cruel World, their fifth album. This time around long-time members Jason Myers (bass) and Quinn Lukas (guitars) are joined by Ironflame vocalist Andrew D’Cagna, and they enlisted none other than Eclipse mainman Erik Martensson to master the album.
From the very beginning Icarus Witch has been a key part of America’s resurgent traditional heavy metal scene. They’ve also been a band that was not content to stay in one lane. The more modern rock-sounding Rise was one example of that, and Goodbye Cruel World is another. Yes it’s very much an old school heavy metal album, but there’s a really strong melodic hard rock vibe running throughout the album. It’s as much Dokken as it is Iron Maiden. That melodic approach, both in the guitars and production, is only amplified by D’Cagna’s powerful vocal performance. I know he’s a power metal guy, but this makes me want to hear him do some King Kobra covers.
I remember thinking when Rise came out that it would make a great (re)introduction to Icarus Witch. I feel the same way about Goodbye Cruel World. There are songs here that harken back to the band’s earliest sound (“Misfortune Teller” and “Possessed By You” comes to mind), but this could almost be the debut of some killer new melodic metal band. The sheer electricity (no pun intended) of “Lightning Strikes” and “Until the Bitter End” is undeniable, and “Silence of the Siren” and the title track make just as much of an impact.
Goodbye Cruel World is the perfect mix of melodic rock and heavy metal, and is a very welcome return from one of traditional metal’s more exciting bands. If you’ve followed Icarus Witch from the beginning, Goodbye Cruel World will have as many “Yes! Icarus Witch is back!” moments as it does “Holy shit, this is Icarus Witch?” moments. And if you’ve never heard the band but love classic, melodic heavy metal along the lines of Fifth Angel, Dokken, Riot and of course Iron Maiden, this album is soon to be your new favorite thing.
Summary: Electrifying melodic heavy metal