Last Tribe - Witch Dance
Frontiers Records
Heavy Melodic (Power) Metal
11 songs (57'21)
Release year: 2002
Last Tribe, Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Marty
Album of the month
Once in a while, an album grabs you right from the first track and by the end of the it, you're just dying to hear it again. This is one of those albums. Last Tribe, although having a very familiar sound, have such a great style and sense of melody that you'll walk away singing some of the choruses even after the first listen. Great vocals, great choruses, mixed with a thick heavy metal power chord guitar and pounding drums together create a dynamite melodic metal album. The music is very heavy, a lot heavier than most other melodic metal bands, and the stunning guitar wizardry of Magnus Karlsson is certainly one of this album's many highlights.

The band consists of Magnus Karlsson, guitar (ex-Midnight Sun), Rickard Bengtsson, vocals, Dick Lovgren, bass and Jaime Salazar, drums (ex-Flower Kings). Their first album, The Ritual, was a more progressive offering than this one and although there are some progressive elements throughout Witch Dance, it is a slightly different album and sees the band moving in another direction. Their overall sound shows influences from Queensryche, older Yngwie Malmsteen (Trilogy and Odyssey albums), 80's metal, and even use a couple of Dio-era Black Sabbath style riffs. For fans of a faster style of metal, there's a hefty dose of charging double bass Power Metal found on several tracks, especially Bring Out The Brave and Man Of Peace. There are no filler tracks on this release with most being very energetic up-tempo rockers with no shortage of killer guitar riffs, shredding leads and great melodic hooks. Choruses are excellent and use lots of background voices to really enrich the tone and enhance the melody that is just bursting from these tracks. Rickard Bengtsson has a great strong voice and is perfectly suited for this band. He does a wonderful job of bringing the listener right into the song to experience the power and emotion on a first hand basis. At times, his range and vocal delivery style sound remarkably similar to Michael Kiske (former Helloween vocalist) and the track, Wash Your Sins Away, sounds like a long lost Queensryche track with the guitar style and Rickard's very Geoff Tate-like vocals especially for the chorus. Wake Up The World, with it's solid heaviness, great choruses and piano sprinkled throughout really brings Angel Dust to mind, especially the Enlighten The Darkness album.

Magnus Karlsson's guitar playing is a real delight to the ears. Each song is chocked full of very catchy riffs and he manages to create a very fresh and energetic sound. His playing style reminds me a bit of Yngwie as far as the technical flash but has a more expressive style along the lines of Michael Schenker or Timo Tolkki. He uses lots of tricks and lead hooks on most tracks but doesn't let it dominate the songs. He really cuts loose though on the instrumental track, Agadin. Beginning with an Eastern flavor complete with sitar, this song explodes into lots of thematic riffing using muiti-tracked guitars and lots of great arpeggio harmonies.

Overall, a great sounding band that has put together a killer melodic heavy metal album. This band manages to achieve the perfect balance between great vocals and melodies, lots of killer (and heavy) guitar riffs and a great driving rhythm section all topped of with a flawless production. With all the great new melodic metal bands coming out now, you'll be hard pressed to find a better one than this band. (I'm really impressed with Cornerstone too!!) This is simply one of the best albums in this genre that I've heard in quite a while.

Killing Songs :
All Of Them !!!
Marty quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Last Tribe that we have reviewed:
Last Tribe - The Uncrowned reviewed by Marty and quoted 88 / 100
Last Tribe - The Ritual reviewed by Dom and quoted 91 / 100
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