Heavy metal has always been tied up in fantastical lore. At its best we’ve gotten groups like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Celtic Frost, and at its worst the comical spoof on the genre with Spinal Tap (think the infamous Stonehenge scene). Lucky for us, the young British band Wytch Hazel seems to be tapping into the groups who found success in fantasy. On April 22nd Wytch Hazel will release their debut full-length album Prelude via Bad Omen Records. The album is a sprawling collection of tunes with one foot in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (think Iron Maiden and Saxon) and one in the mystical folkloric rock of Jethro Tull. Maiden fans will recognize heavy shredding guitar harmonies and triumphant lyrics about epic battles sang and sometimes screamed by Colin Hendra. This is throwback music in every sense and the members of Wytch Hazel proudly wear their influences on the sleeves of their English medieval shirts. Most importantly, they’re a band who obviously kick ass live.
Today we are excited to premiere the opening track off Prelude, “Freedom Battle”, right here on Glide Magazine. If the title doesn’t give it away, “Freedom Battle” is an anthemic heavy metal song about waging an epic battle to be free, and it sets a high bar for everything that follows on the record as it displays the band’s full musical prowess. If there is a single to be pulled from the album, this is it.
Singer and guitarist Colin Hendra offers his own thoughts on the song, saying, “‘Freedom Battle’ is about fighting life’s ‘battles’, which can take many forms. I don’t know about anybody else, but I find in life that once one ‘battle’ is over a new one is just around the corner! This is reflected in the lyrics: ‘There’s a battle left to fight’. It’s a sort of ‘in the midst of the battle’ song. It rises to a musical climax in the mid-section to evoke the energy and struggle of a spiritual battlefield, plus it has a slightly solemn tone to the track which also reflects the struggle. In the New Testament in the Bible, Paul writes a letter to the Ephesian church urging them to ‘put on the armor of God’ and be ‘filled with the Holy Ghost’ – this letter is the main inspiration for our song ‘We Will Be Strong’ but it also applies to ‘Freedom Battle’ too.”
Listen to Wytch Hazel’s “Freedom Battle”:
Wytch Hazel release Prelude on Bad Omen Records April 22nd. For more info visit wytchhazel.bad-omen-records.com.