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Witchwood biography
The band is born from the ashes of BUTTERED BACON BISCUITS in 2014. This album was released in 2010, and has received many positive reviews. BBB has played many gigs in Italy with JETHRO TULL, URIAH HEEP and BUD SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION. Those bands give us a indication of the style of the band that release their album "Litanies from the Wood" in 2015. They also did a cover of BLACK SABBATH, "A National Acrobat". The band is Ricky DAL PANE (vocals, guitar, mandolin, percussions), Steve OLIVI (Hammond, Moog, Piano), Andrea PALLI (drums), Sam TESORI (flute, harmonica) and the new bass player Luca CELOTTI. The music is a combination of Classic Rock, Hard Rock, Prog Rock, Psychedelic and Southern Rock with a vintage sound.

Bio by rdtprog

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WITCHWOOD discography

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WITCHWOOD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.77 | 54 ratings
Litanies from the Woods
4.06 | 32 ratings
Handful of Stars
3.71 | 32 ratings
Before the Winter

WITCHWOOD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

WITCHWOOD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Before the Winter by WITCHWOOD album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.71 | 32 ratings

Before the Winter
Witchwood Heavy Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars Witchwood is an Italian band that was founded in 2014, out of the ashes of Buttered Bacon Biscuits, a formation that existed between 2008 and 2013. They presented a blend of psychedelia, hardrock and prog, and released one album entitled From The Solitary Woods (in 2010), on the known Italian Black Widow Records label. Three members of BBB joined the new band Witchwood, and in 2014 Witchwood released its debut album Litanies From The Woods. That was like BBB a blend of psychedelia, hardrock and prog, but more with an own touch. And more vintage, inspired by Uriah Heep, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Hawkwind and Lynyrd Skynyrd. In 2016 the band released its second album entitled Handful Of Stars, and in 2020 #3 entitled Before The Winter. I am not familiar with the work of Witchwood, this is my first musical encounter with the band.

Witchwood often strongly evokes Uriah Heep (even the excellent singer sounds like the second coming of John Lawton), especially in the first 3 tracks: fiery guitar and sparkling flute traverse in Anthem For A Child and A Taste Of Winter, and wah-wah guitar (trademark Mick Box), a flashy pitchbend driven Minimoog solo, delicate Fender piano, flute and distorted bass in Feelin'. More melodic rock with prog tendencies in Hesperus (halfway a sensitive electric guitar solo and then a swirling Hammond solo), No Reason To Cry (embellished with bombastic Hammond, swinging electric piano and a blistering guitar solo) and Crazy Little Lover (featuring bluesy mouth-organ).

But Witchwood also has a mellow side, in the beautiful ballad A Crimson Moon (pleasant variety with sitar, twanging acoustic guitar and flute) and the dreamy Nasrid (acoustic ? and classical guitar, flute and opera-like female vocals).

The epic composition Slow Colours Of Shade is the most varied and dynamic track. It starts mellow with melancholical vocals and rhythm-guitar, then a slow rhythm featuring emotionals vocals. Halfway a break with strong work on keyboards, guitar and flute traverse and finally a long part with a compelling Heavy Prog climate, a bit ominous, my highlight is a spectacular Minimoog solo.

The LP version of this album contains a bonustrack entitled Child Star, it begins atmospheric and then gradually turns into Heavy Prog with sparkling flute traverse and a moving guitar solo.

If you are up to melodic rock with prog tendencies (like Uriah Heep), this is a fine and varied album.

My rating: 3,5 star.

 Litanies from the Woods by WITCHWOOD album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.77 | 54 ratings

Litanies from the Woods
Witchwood Heavy Prog

Review by Muskrat

3 stars Too long !

Witchwood plunges us into the friendly atmosphere from the end of the 60s and the early 70s: a heavy blues rock, vaguely psychedelic. We find a little of the first Tull, Uriah Heep, Floyd, Cactus ... Those who appreciated the Swedish approach of Black Bonzo may be interested in Witchwood. However, despite this pleasant atmosphere, listening to "Litanies From The Woods" quickly inflates them. The main problem with this record is the excessive length of the songs. Consistent pieces are often the hallmark of progressive rock, and I like it when it's justified. In my opinion, this is not the case here. "Shade Of Grey" is built on two notes and lasts ... 11 minutes, and the last three tracks alone occupy 35 of them, not much. Wanting to spread the jam too much on the toast, it no longer tastes. Pity ! This album would have benefited from being refined. I would keep it for the background music, or listen to two or three pieces from time to time.

Barely three stars. Recommended for all those who appreciate the numbness of repetitive litanies.

 Litanies from the Woods by WITCHWOOD album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.77 | 54 ratings

Litanies from the Woods
Witchwood Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars WITCHWOOD are a new band out of Italy playing a heavy, bluesy style of Progressive music. The harmonica is quite prominent along with the flute and we get a powerful vocalist that brings Classic Rock to mind. If you like BLACK BONZO, WICKED MINDS, URIAH HEEP or DEEP PURPLE you need to check these guys out. I really think that fellow Italians WICKED MINDS had to have been an influence. Heck they even had an album called "Witchflower".

Man this is a long record at just under 78 minutes. First up is "Prelude/ Liar" which opens with this repeated guitar melody before it kicks in heavily after 1 1/2 minutes, vocals follow. My favourite part of the song is the instrumental calm after 4 minutes with flute. Ripping guitar comes in a minute later as it kicks back in. A kick-ass start but i'm not a big fan of this one. The organ, flute and drums standout early on the next track called "A Place For The Sun". Harmonica follows then vocals. I'm not really digging this until it calms down before 3 1/2 minutes with strummed guitar and keyboards without vocals. Nice. Back to that powerful sound with vocals late to end it. "Rainbow Highway" has plenty of passionate vocals along with organ and guitar. Check out the guitar solo before 4 minutes that goes on and on along with some pleasant piano melodies.

"The Golden King" is a top two track for me. This is more like it! They tone things down some here with the keyboards and percussion standing out, even the vocals sound better as he scales back the passion(haha). My other top two is "Shade Of Grey" which opens with intricate guitar as reserved vocals join in. Female vocals help out on this one and we also get some mandolin and flute. It's starting to heat up before 6 minutes but it settles right back down, in fact it becomes even more pastoral. Flute to the fore then synths. "The World Behind Your Eyes" is a ballad with relaxed vocals until it kicks into gear after 2 minutes and these contrasts will continue. He actually sounds like Bon Jovi here.

"Farewell To The Ocean Boulavard" is the longest song at 15 1/2 minutes. Strummed guitar to start as the flute joins in then a full sound. A pleasant guitar solo arrives around 2 1/2 minutes in. Keyboards after 6 minutes come to the fore then organ as it stays relaxed. Flute and harmonica as well before the guitar starts to light it up around 11 1/2 minutes. A calm after 13 minutes with classical sounding guitar then it turns more powerful to the end. "Song Of Freedom" features mandolin and harmonica early on as the vocals join in as well. Some percussion too. It becomes more powerful 2 minutes in and contrasts will continue. An okay tune. "Handful Of Stars" has some grungy sounding guitar that I like as those expressive vocals join in. Some organ runs later then we get an instrumental section after 4 minutes to the end.

These guys are a talented band, and while the music here doesn't do a lot for me because of my tastes I applaud them for this ambitious album.

 Litanies from the Woods by WITCHWOOD album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.77 | 54 ratings

Litanies from the Woods
Witchwood Heavy Prog

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Buttered Bacon Biscuits were a band from Faenza, a town located in an area called Romagna, that had been active from 2008 to 2013 with a style rooted in the seventies and consisting in a mix of psychedelia, hard rock and a pinch of progressive. They had a good live activity and in 2010 released a debut album entitled From The Solitary Woods that was distributed by the independent label Black Widow Records and got some good reviews but the band did not last enough for a follow up. After the band split up, in 2014 from their ashes came to life a new band called Witchwood, a quintet featuring three former members of the Buttered Bacon Biscuits, Riccardo Dal Pane (vocals, guitars, mandolin, percussion), Stefano Olivi (Hammond, piano, synth, Moog) and Andrea Palli (drums, percussion) along with Samuele Tesori (flute, harmonica) and Luca Celotti (bass). In 2015 this new band, with the help of some guests, released an interesting debut album on the independent label Jolly Roger Records, Litanies From The Woods, where they managed to mix hard rock, progressive, psychedelia and southern rock in a personal way adding fresh ideas to vintage sounds and obscure atmospheres borrowed from the past. Their love for bands such as Uriah Heep, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Hawkwind or Lynyrd Skynyrd is apparent but the songwriting is good and the overall sound is full of energy and passion. The result is a nice example of what now is called classic rock and in my opinion it is really worth listening to...

The opener "Prelude" is just a short electric guitar intro that leads to the caustic "Liar", a heartfelt complaint against a world where appearances are more important than real values and democracy is nothing but an illusion conjured up by cynical politicians, a world where the lies of the media hide the dirtiest sins and where dreams fill the graves...

On the following "A Place For The Sun" the music and lyrics evoke the cathartic power of music and invite you to live day by day to tackle the adversities of life, always looking for the hidden place in your soul where the sun always shines...

"Rainbow Highway" deals with the wish of freedom and adventure of a boy who grew up in a small town, surrounded by boredom and old traditions. The music and lyrics here evoke the dream of a life without rules, a wish of absolute freedom, a fantastic ride on the shoulders of a rainbow demon to feel the wind blowing free and wild all around... Hey boy, pick up your heart and run! Before you lose your soul...

The hypnotic, psychedelic "The Golden King" conjures up the image of a caravan coming from a distant planet, sailing through endless skies... Listen to the litanies for the mysterious Golden King and let him take you away for a ride to his palace to celebrate a strange Sabbath!

The following "Shade Of Grey" is a dark, haunting track evoking Gothic atmospheres and a disquieting creature from an hidden world moving through the woods. You can listen to the songs soaring from the woods as you get lost in a starry night...

Next comes the romantic ballad "The World Behind Your Eyes" that is dedicated to Laura, the lovely muse of lyricist and composer Riccardo Dal Pane. It leads to the long, complex instrumental "Farewell To The Ocean Boulevard" featuring many changes in rhythm and atmosphere, a real epic where the band showcase all their musicianship and creativity swinging from calm, relaxed acoustic passages to fiery electric rides and vice versa. A wonderful track!

"Song Of Freedom" is a celebration of the life on the road, the song of a travelling man in love with his sweet freedom. This nice mix of country rock, blues, hard rock and psychedelic dreams à la easy rider leads to the long closer "Handful Of Stars", a beautiful suite divided into three parts that reminds me of the atmospheres of the Dream Cycle stories by H.P. Lovecraft and deals with haunting and dangerous dreams. On the first part, "The Gates Of Slumber" the music and lyrics conjure up the image of a dreamer lost in his room with floating planets all around while stars fill his mind and heart... He falls in a timeless abyss of dark dreams that the evocative music of next two instrumental parts, "Nox Erat..." (It was night) and "Epilogue: Litanies For A Starless Night", let your imagination free to build up...

On the whole, a very nice album! If you like bands such as Wicked Minds, I'm sure you will not be disappointed...

Thanks to rdtprog for the artist addition.

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