Seven Witches - Xiled To Infinity And One

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Noise Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 46:16:00

evil laugh "We're taking back the metal!" So bellows legendary Savatage screamer Jon Oliva in this straight forward US power metal album that now features ex-Crimson Glory warbler Wade Black on vocals. So what's Jon Oliva doing starting it? I'll get to that later.

This is album number three for Seven Witches that centres around guitarist Jack Frost (Metalium, Savatage - yes, the connection is there already) in a display of aggressive leads and screeching solos that hardly loosens across the whole album. The fact that Jack has worked extensively in Europe in the past few years have given the album an indistinct feel that covers influences from both sides of the Atlantic ocean. Since the departure of vocalist Bobby Lucas (who went over to ex-Eternity-X mob Exhibition, who play a more progressive brand of metal), Wade Black has stepped in to fill the shoes. Wade does an adequate job, influenced in many ways by Rob Halford.

Unfortunately, the album just meanders along at times like the proverbial long, dark Winters of the northern hemisphere. Starting with the song-writing, the album is fairly straight forward and at times Wade doesn't sound too convinced with what he is singing. So it's hard for the listener to be involved if the singer isn't. The sterile sound of the drums (played by Destiny's End drummer Brian Craig) don't really match the rest of the albums energetic musical slayings and it's kind of strange to listen to at times. Stand out tracks are few and far between but I would have to say that "Anger's Door" and the opener "Metal Tyrant" (but again, what opening track of any album is crap?). Driving Pantera like riffs begins "Warmth Of Winter" which has a modern vibe to it similar to Judas Priest's Demolition. And we all know what that sounded like, right? The nail in the coffin for this album though is the fact that the two best tracks from the album are not sung by Wade at all. Let me explain. Jon Oliva penned track #9 "The Burning" which brings back glowing memories of past Jon-led Savatage glories crossed with his Doctor Butcher antics. I would implore Jack to employ Jon as their lead vocalist because he sounds GREAT as does the track. Secondly, the final track from the album is a cover of Grim Reaper's "See You In Hell" - a duet that features Joe Comeau (Annihilator) and Wade Black. This, too, is awesome. But the rest of the album rarely lives up to these two driving tracks.

So, there you have it. Not terrible by any means, but nothing to write home about either. The talent certainly hasn't been wasted, but it's been a tad neglected. Oh, and it's an immature title for an album, too!

Similar To: Old Savatage

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Metal Tyrant / Incubus / Salvation / Xiled To Infinity And One / Warmth Of Winter / Anger's Door / Eyes Of An Angel / Pain / The Burning / See You In Hell

Wade Black - vocals
Jack Frost - guitars
Billy Mez - bass
Brian Craig - drums


Jon Oliva - vocals (9)
Joe Comeau - vocals (10)

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: 801
Language: english


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