Single Review: Wytch Hazel / Phantom Spell – Ride On / Palantíri

Single Review: Wytch Hazel / Phantom Spell - Ride On / Palantíri
Reviewed by Jon Wigg

The ongoing resurgence of traditional heavy metal by young bands gladdens my heart. As an old geezer who remembers luminaries such as Omen, Manilla Road and Raven the first time around, the journey between around 1984 and 2010 was tough at times. A lot of those bands are still going and this is wonderful, with the chance to hear those tunes played live being a source of joy.

But along side this, is the youngsters who are helping to keep that original spirit going. No need for the gimmicks of Glam or Nu-Metal, or the speed/heaviness wars of Thrash, Death and Black Metal here. Just solid, well written tunes that get these decrepit bones nodding along.
Two of these bands join forces on this top notch single in Lancashire's Wytch Hazel and Anglo-Spanish prog merchants, Phantom Spell.
Single Review: Wytch Hazel / Phantom Spell - Ride On / Palantíri

Anyone familiar with Wytch Hazel's discography which includes four excellent albums of rock/metal with a Christian theme, will be happy with this offering, Ride On. Their gallop is there from the start and like any great trad song, you can sing along with the chorus after one listen. The twin guitar duelling is great and the solo has a definite Iron Maiden feel. And if you aren't familiar, then this should be a great aperitif and introduction to the band.

Phantom Spell's single Palantiri is heavier but also adds in more progressive elements, as is their style. A Tolkien themed track which has a great pace, soaring solos and strong vocal work from Seven Sister's frontman Kyle McNeill. This track follows on well from their debut album, Immortal's Requiem and 2023's EP Tales from the Black Spire, which are also recommended listening.

Overall a lovely single which exudes skill and most noticeably, positivity, something we could all do with more of at the moment.

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