That’s what happens if you put your faith to a band; you have a big, kind-of smirky grin on your face, pleased and happy for their success, thinking “I told you so!”
Well, it’s reasonable to think that I cannot know if GRAYWITCH will actually make a success with their new album but they have ALREADY accomplished the main goal of this second work of theirs; “Children of Gods” is a MUCH BETTER album than its predecessor. Thus, I think that the bet is won – and in my opinion, there were so much at stake because GRAYWITCH had to make a lot of changes to improve as a band.
Their debut, “Rise of the Witch”, released in 2021, has been an overall good album but everyone could see some weaknesses. I saw them too, myself – they were mainly of stylistic inconsistency. However, there was something in the creative force driving the band that showed real talent and potentials. They had to become more focused, work harder and take some daring artistic decisions in order to make a solid come-back but I really believed that if given a second chance, they would surprise us positively.
So, when I write about GRAYWITCH’s success, I mean that they DID go through all the self-reflection and soul-searching needed to build on, they DID manage to gather the strength and courage to finally hit the studio anew, almost from the start, and yes, they DID return with an EXCELLENT sophomore album that totally keeps them in the game – CONGRATULATIONS, guys, your perseverance has paid off!
Of course, it must be mentioned that GRAYWITCH aren’t the same anymore – both figuratively and literally.
First of all, the line-up has changed quite a lot although they still remain a Greek-Cypriot metal alliance with a guitar trio. Spyros Vlachopoulos and Dino Lassis (ex-vocalist) are the only remaining members of “Rise of the Witch” and together with Lampros Stefou they share the band’s guitar playing. Jim Ravikalis on bass and Vaggelis Kanavitsados on drums make up the main rhythm section and the group’s new singer is George Papadopoulos – to have a more seasoned vocalist has been a wise choice indeed!
Another significant change is in GRAYWITCH’s style. I think that it would be pretty legit to be now referred to as an epic heavy/power band since they clearly shifted towards that direction – not only their lyrical themes take inspiration from folklore tales, historical events and mythology but their sound is more dynamic and anthemic. From intro “Overture to Olympus” and opening track “Children of Gods” to “Odysseus” and “Holy Lands” that follow, we face an impressive barrage of euro-power epicness reminding HELLOWEEN, BLIND GUARDIAN, GAMMA RAY and RUNNING WILD.
Hard rock stuff and NWOBHM generic hooks are THANKFULLY gone for good! If you compare “Metalhead” to “The One”, “Heavy Metal Life” to “Immortals” and “Where Are You Baby” to “Swansong” you’ll understand IMMEDIATELY why “Children of Gods” is WAY SUPERIOR to “Rise of the Witch”.
Yes, it’s true: GRAYWITCH evolved and expanded in the best way possible, bringing out a classy, compact album, so enjoyable to listen to from start to finish! I dare to say that they can now be counted among the great Hellenic epic metal forces. “God of War” and “Over the Red Sky” are two more examples of fine songwriting, full of passion and inspiration. Dan Baune and Jimmy Sinner both participate in “God of War” with marvelous guitar solos while Grigoris Langouvardos and Eleni Langouvardou play the violins heard in the album and Vasiliki Erotokritou offers once again her amazing soprano voice – she has been a guest musician in the band’s debut as well.
Finally, the bonus cut in the tracklist is the orchestral version of “Swansong” and it’s absolutely ideal as an epilogue.
GRAYWITCH are back and they nailed it!
Well, I TOLD YOU SO, didn’t I?
“Children of Gods” will be released on February 2nd by Sleaszy Rider on limited edition CD.
Check the discussion about the album in our forum pages.
You can pre order the first press CD here.