With Wytch Hazel having established their style right from their 2011 formation, each of their releases has mostly been a matter of fine-tuning and making tweaks to their Hard Rock vision. The band’s third full-length album is no exception as it delivers its signature blend of Celtic melodies and spiritual lyrics with brazen positivity. Past efforts have been enjoyable in their own right but III: Pentecost (Bad Omen Records) may be the strongest execution of the formula so far.
While Wytch Hazel has never been an aggressive band per se, they’ve never sounded this consistently electrifying. Their inherently upbeat attitude has some extra oomph to it as the bright guitar harmonies are backed by more powerful rhythms while the vocals have a bit more conviction behind them. It may have something to do with the track order as the album’s first half is a volley of blazing rockers. The Folk elements are still there but with the exception of ‘Sonata,’ the softer instrumentation tends to either provide backing layers or dynamic contrast to the more dominant heaviness.
The band’s penchant for catchy as hell hooks remains potent and is often enhanced by the snappier structures. It’s easy to imagine enthusiastic crowds clapping along to the classic buildups on the charging yet breezy ‘Spirit And Fire’ and ‘I Am Redeemed’ while responding to the overtly speedy ‘He Is The Fight’ and ‘I Will Not’ with even greater fervor. ‘Dry Bones’ is another major favorite, providing a muscular mid-tempo riff set and topping off its already inspiring chorus with a couple of well-placed falsettos.
In a way similar to High Spirits, Wytch Hazel has become a reliably positive force that is greatly needed in these trying times. While their particular message of hope may resonate deeper with their fellow believers, their upbeat guitar work and infectious sing-alongs are more than enough to win over most any fan of Hard Rock and Classic Metal. III: Pentecost is the finest display of their talents thus far and is an easy recommendation for longtime followers and unfamiliar listeners alike. Buy the album here: https://wytchhazel.bandcamp.com/album/iii-pentecost
9 / 10