Wytch Hazel – Prelude album review

Rustic English retro-rockers Wytch Hazel earn their keep with new album

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Lancastrian time lords Wytch Hazel exist in a realm outside of modern musical trappings, where 70s hard rock and prog is on the cusp of turning into NWOBHM and the urban squalor of punk is ignored.

Prelude is the long-awaited debut for anyone who’s been fortunate enough to witness one of the band’s rare but powerful live performances, or snagged a copy of The Truth EP from 2012.

It’s an album of quintessentially British-sounding proto-heavy metal, steeped in the mystical harmonies of Wishbone Ash, the heartfelt balladry of Thin Lizzy and the eccentric folk rock of Jethro Tull. Duelling guitars, folk-tinged strains and rousing, Iron Maiden-style gallops combine with a swashbuckling stage garb to evoke medieval themes to create a truly heroic sound. Recorded in the rural surroundings of Foel Studio by ex-Purson multi-instumentalist Ed Turner, Prelude showcases the band’s lion-hearted passion.