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Articles Home » 1984 Articles » Witch Cross - 1984 Fit For Fight
 
Witch Cross - 1984 Fit For Fight



ARTIST: Witch Cross
ALBUM: Fit For Fight
LABEL: Raodrunner
SERIAL: RRR 209
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 2000, Old Metal * 2012, Hells Headbangers, HELLS 092

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Alex Savage - vocals * Mike Wlad - guitars * Cole Hamilton - guitars * 'Little' John Field - bass * A.C.- drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Night Flight To Tokyo * 02 Face Of A Clown * 03 Rocking The Night Away * 04 Killer Dogs * 05 Fight The Fire * 06 Axe Dance * 07 Light Of A Torch * 08 Alien Savage


Background
I recall seeing this album previewed on many an ancient Music For Nations cassette inlay and often wondered if it would ever cross my path! This is more obscure than I imagined it to be, and the cover artwork of a giant bat attacking a warrior and his wenches is classic 80's! Formed in Denmark by Savage (aka Alex Nyborg Madsen) as Blood Eagle, this was the only album from this traditional metal act, and there's enough manic pace and melodic outbursts that are reasonably impressive two decades plus later. Steeped in the NWOBHM, Witch Cross probably showed up on the scene a couple of years too late and were lost in the shuffle of hordes of similar bands. Savage and Wlad actually found success with Harlot after Witch Cross folded, cashing in on the promise of the impact made here.


The Songs
Lots of Iron Maiden forgery here, but handled so impressively it's hard to criticise the band, and on closer inspection an abundance of neat hooks and melodic twists spice up an often wild set of heavy metal. 'Axe Dance' is an instrumental, but when at full speed rivals and surpasses Maiden themselves. If anyone is in doubt as to what metal is supposed to represent then this is the place to start. Even a hardened veteran like myself still has the capacity to be shocked by relics like this. The mixture of melody and finesse combined with twin guitar mayhem is perfected on the quite sublime 'Light Of A Torch', while its full steam galloping gonads ahead for the brutish 'Alien Savage'. 'Night Flight To Tokyo' is slightly commercial with its catchy chorus, as is the good time metal of 'Rocking The Night Away' that brings Tokyo Blade to mind. 'Killer Dogs' breaks loose with a near thrash breakdown, very advanced for 1984 and seemingly the work of crazed individuals.


In Summary
Looking back, some of these dated early to mid 80's metal albums aren't that bad. This is heavier than most and with better production would have sounded amazing. Simply put Witch Cross play straight forward metal, take it or leave it. I'll take it. The band didn't survive much longer, going through a slew of lineup changes. Reportedly Savage became somewhat of a celebrity in his native Denmark, as a TV and radio personality. Whether this made the jump to CD or not seems unclear (yes, it did.. year 2000 on Old Metal Records.. Ed), but I'm sure for those curious enough to seek a lost gem such as this, hunting it down should not prove difficult.


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Comments
#1 | tompa on August 28 2013 16:23:09
I agree with this review. Some have called this "amateurish" but I think it is one of those (few) 80's metal albums that have stood the test of time. Jag Panzer's "Ample destruction" is another example. Favetrack; "Face Of A Clown", simply brilliant.
 
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