Fifteen years and five albums into their career Pittsburgh-based traditional heavy metal band Icarus Witch found themselves seeking a new voice for their first album since 2012’s RISE. They found the ideal vocalist in Andrew D’Cagna, a name many will recognize from his work with artists like the doomy Brimstone Coven or Ironflame, his solo project that took many metal fans (and critics’ best-of-2017 lists) by surprise.
“After working closely with Andrew in Ironflame I heard his voice in my head singing the new Icarus Witch material and thought it would fit perfectly,” explains Icarus Witch guitarist Quinn Lukas who also plays live in Ironflame. “He delivers his melodies with grit and attitude.”
For his part, Andrew says “I’m both grateful and excited to be part of this new era of Icarus Witch. I see this as a chance to expand my horizons as a vocalist and bring a new dynamic element to the band.”
As reported last year, the drum sessions were performed by Jon Rice (Skeletonwitch, Job For A Cowboy, Scorpion Child…) but what has not been announced until now is that the mixing duties and pre-production for the new music is being handled by Grammy award-winning producer Neil Kernon (Queensryche, Nevermore, Dokken, Judas Priest).
“We wanted to go for a different sonic approach this time out -- work with someone who was integral to classic metal’s heyday but who also still has an ear for modern production,” says Icarus Witch founder and bassist, Jason Myers. “One of the albums Quinn and I always bonded over in terms of production is Queensryche’s Rage for Order so Neil Kernon was on our short list of dream producers to work with. The fact that he’s been behind the board for vintage Kansas and Lynch Mob albums but also worked with trad contemporaries like 3 Inches Of Blood and Cauldron made him the logical choice to help us push our odd hybrid of dark AOR and proggish metal.”
D’Cagna produced his own vocals at Sacred Sound Recording, a busy studio that he operates when not on the road or running Hot Rod Tattooing & Body Piercing shop, both of which are in Martins Ferry, Ohio.
The guitar, bass and drums were tracked by one of Pittsburgh’s most in-demand up-and-coming engineers Shane Mayer (Deathwhite, Post Mortal Possession) at Cerebral Audio where he also edited the video that he filmed for the “Goodbye Cruel World” single.
When it came time to choose a mastering facility, former Icarus Witch producer/guitarist Dave Watson recommended Fascination Street in Stockholm, Sweden as they did an admirable job polishing his last production for Argus. This proved to be an excellent match for the new Witch, which was consequently mastered by Jens Bogren whose showreel includes the most recent Amorphis and Katatonia.
The full-length album, Goodbye Cruel World, will be released later this year through Cleopatra Records but in the meantime the band wanted to share this title track single as a thank you to the fans who’ve waited patiently for new music.
“We wanted to tell the world about Andrew joining the Witch last fall when we made it official,” Myers admits of the delayed announcement. “At the same time we wanted to let the music do the talking rather than have people speculate for months what the new music might sound like with his voice. We’re stoked to finally be able to share a sample of the new energy and creativity that he helped breathe into the band’s sound ahead of our sixth album!”
Our friends from Brave New World (the sadly now defunct record store in Oakland where Icarus Witch played their first ever show) unearthed vintage out-of-print IW merch so we're having a giveaway.
• Comment below with your favorite Icarus Witch song and why you dig it.
• Then message us at icaruswitch.com/contact with #ThrowbackWitchPack in the subject line.
One unlucky winner will be drawn from a hat on Facebook live this Monday, March 5th at 8PM EST!
1 Ultra-rare Icarus Witch Hoodie
1 True Metal Pittsburgh T-shirt (our most popular, though retired design)
1 Icarus Witch Purple Dragon Ladies T-shirt
1 Copy or the RISE CD
1 Icarus Witch shot glass
1 Icarus Witch sticker
* Contest is open to metal heads world wide. Shipping is free and sizes are limited to what is on hand. Good luck and see you Monday on Facebook.com/IcarusWitch!
We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Christopher Shaner for seven killer years as the lead vocalist for Icarus Witch. Chris joined the band in 2010 and was immediately swept into our cycle of tours and madness. We paused a couple years later just long enough to track the Rise album before heading back on the road. Shaner delivered the goods consistently with his distinctive powerful vocal style and charismatic showmanship.
The band took a hiatus in 2016 and returned to the stage in early 2017 with plans to write the 6th album and fire up the Witch machine once again. Christopher decided that it was time to focus on other endeavors and move on from the band. We were disappointed because we were looking forward to writing and recording with him again, but respected his decision and have always held a "Stay if you will, go if you must" policy with band members in good standing.
We sincerely wish Chris all the best in his future endeavors and will be making an announcement in the coming weeks regarding the new vocalist for Icarus Witch.
We've got an announcement to make regarding the title of (and inspiration for) the new Icarus Witch album. But rather than just blog about it here, we'd like you to check out this short interview over at BraveWords.com!
ANNOUNCEMENT: Due to scheduling issues Dave won't be playing the Amorphis concert with us on March 19. It's going to be a busy year for all parties involved so we can't say with certainty what capacity he will play in the upcoming album or shows to follow, but we're leaving the door open for the future.
We're all on the best of terms and wish our brother much success as well as sincere gratitude for the unparalleled role he's played in the past 7 years of Icarus Witch.
While we've stayed in touch with many of you via our social media pages (linked on this site) it's been a while since we updated the news section here at IcarusWitch.com. While we decided to take a short hiatus last year after a decade plus push of writing recording and touring -- we're getting back into action with new tales to tell and a fresh perspective in 2017!
We're super stoked about the way the new music is flowing and think you will be too. Rather than book a bunch of shows and play the same old set, we're holding off on touring until we can add some exciting new melodic metal into the mix with the classic Witch you've come to expect. Thanks for your patience and all the love and support you feed us with on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube each day!
Icarus Witch will be opening for Queensrÿche in Pittsburgh! Get your tickets now at our shop!
We're kicking off 2014 in style. This is the first ever unveiling of the completely redesigned official home of Icarus Witch on the web, IcarusWitch.com! To celebrate a new year and discuss what's in the works for the Witch brigade, we're joining Doc Rock live on the air for Metal Shop 101 on Z ROCK 106.9 KKZR. Listen online HERE.