Wytch Hazel - Ii Sojourn

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How much do we love this band and album? Well, can you hear that sound floating on the wind? It’s a chorus of Gimme Radio DJ’s chanting “WYTCH HAZEL! WYTCH HAZEL!” Yeah, we’re all pretty stoked on this, the second full-length album from Lancaster, England’s Wytch Hazel. Their music is a timeless blend of NWOBHM majesty (a la Desolation Angels, Jameson Raid, Bleak House, Pagan Altar…) with ‘70s folk-inflected, hard rocking guitar twin harmonies inspired by Thin Lizzy and especially Wishbone Ash. ’Tis probably no accident that the image gracing the cover of II: Sojourn is somewhat reminiscent of that on Wishbone Ash’s 1971 pastoral masterpiece, Argus. The ancient, armored rider pictured here would surely find Wytch Hazel’s music the perfect soundtrack for galloping off on his steed on his way to pull a sword from a stone, or to accomplish something equally epic.

A concept album of sorts, this is a carefully crafted opus, somehow both rollicking and moody, replete with emotive vocal harmonies and stirring melodies. It’s meant to be listened to as a whole, although each and every song stands proudly and catchily on its own as well, deserving repeated spins. It hearkens back to the ‘70s as well as to ages even more olden and mythic, and we have no doubt will stand the test of time itself. - Havelock Horrax