ICARUS WITCH – No Devil Lived On (2023)

ICARUS WITCH - No Devil Lived On (2023) - full

One of the long lasting exponents from The New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal scene Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, ICARUS WITCH has been in the music business since 2003.
Playing their metalized brand of edgy heavy rock they have opened for for legends like Black Sabbath, Queensrÿche, Y&T, Winger, Cinderella, etc, ICARUS WITCH has become metal festival veterans lighting up stages from Headbangers Open Air and Storm Crusher in Germany to Stormbringer and Legions of Metal in the US.
Mixed by Brad Cox (Velvet Revolver, Buckcherry) ”No Devil Lived On” is the band’s seventh album overall, their first in five years, and their first-ever concept album – an occult sci-fi thriller of dystopian rebellion driven by sharp riffs, clean powerful vocals and melodic refrains.

Heaven’s Ghetto sets the stage with an ominous spoken intro set against a canvas of aural chaos that gives way to the rocking sounds that Icarus Witch is known for. The straightforward nature of this opening track is very welcome because it’s easy for concept albums to become bogged down in overproduction or navel gazing. The band avoids the traps and pulls you into the story they wish to tell with pure metal simplicity.
Stranger Than Angels adds a bit of atmosphere with some synths and more spoken passages to take us into the next chapter. This track actually gains more steam as it goes on, which made me happy because it nearly lost me in the beginning. The intensity ramps up, the guitars start to shred, and the riffing gets more complex.
Then Last Night On Earth gives us more exposition to set the mood with sounds of an almost apocalyptic newscast that gave a serious “Dawn of the Dead” vibes. The singing and lyrics really shine here. Ironflame mastermind Andrew D’Cagna gets a good chance to flex his vocal talents while the guitars take us home with some melodious shredding. Science fiction metal fans will love this.

10,000 Light Years From Home is more catchy and simple compared to the previous songs and it’s a nice respite. It’s easy to see why this was released as one of the album’s singles. It’s a straightforward rocker that still carries the story and concepts through the aural landscape the band is creating.

Title track No Devil Lived On is more than just a clever, palindromic title track and is actually one of my favorite songs on the album. The heavier chugging and spectral sliding of guitars gives the record a nice spot to slow things down and add some variety. There are nice punches of bass lines as well. Every element of the band gets ample time to color the sonic canvas.
A Heartbeat Away changes things up once again with a nice galloping riff before settling into a more spacious spectrum. If you enjoyed the early 2000s output from the revived Iron Maiden, such as Brave New World or Dance of Death, you will feel right at home here. The bass is given another spot to shine here and throw the track to another ripping solo.

Rise Of The Witches is another more straightforward track that keeps things going. The band’s influences really come to light here and you can’t help but think of the stronger moments from Queensryche‘s Operation Mindcrime. With a catchy chorus it’s easy for me to see this anthemic song becoming a live staple for the band.
Shadow Chaser starts with a riff that would bring a tear to the eye of Vivian Campbell or Craig Goldy. If the guitar work doesn’t make you think of the legendary Dio band then the lyrics and vocal delivery surely will. Tying the album’s unifying concept to a familiar framework is a fun way to pay tribute to the wellspring from which much of the NWOTHM movement flows.

Starseed Trilogy is an ambitious epic closer. It’s divided into three parts and each has a distinct feel. This creates a nice separation so you know when you’re going from one movement to the next. The music takes on a more sinister tone to wrap things up and the spoken passages from the opening track return to bring things full circle.

”No Devil Lived On” is a concept album that avoids the self-importance and overproduction that plagues many others of similar ambition. The title alone should clue you in to the fact that the band is musically flexing but playfully keeping the subject matter tongue-in-cheek.
What you get here is an album that delivers on many of the things you would want from a no-nonsense melodic metal album while packing in a unifying theme supported by deftly written tracks.
If you are new to Icarus Witch, then you can jump on the supernatural train right here at this station. If you are a long time fan, the freshened lineup and farther-reaching concepts should be rewarding to explore. This is a fun album that is absolutely worth your time and money.
Highly Recommended


01 – Heaven’s Ghetto
02 – Stranger Than Angels
03 – Last Night On Earth
04 – 10,000 Light Years From Home
05 – No Devil Lived On
06 – A Heartbeat Away
07 – Rise Of The Witches
08 – Shadow Chaser
09 – Starseed Trilogy:
I. The Emerald Tablet
II. Ruler Of Arcana
III. And I Am You

Andrew D’Cagna – Vocals (lead and backing)
Quinn Lukas – Guitars, Vocals (backing)
Noah Skiba- Drums
Jason “Sin” Myers – Bass



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