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III: Pentecost

by Wytch Hazel

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1.
We fall on the sword, for the sake of the Lord We fall at the feet, of our enemies Daily we die, hear all the cries We’ll take a stand, by His command We are losing and we are lost We’re not surviving we’ll count the cost Darkness has reigned, witness the slain We’re overwhelmed, by powers of hell Be sober of mind, for you are assigned To rise up and fight, with all your might Beware the great deceiver, Angel of Light He is a roaring lion, He is the fight Rise up and fight we will sing We serve a mightier King
2.
We were together in that place, then a sound came from the heavens See the look upon my face, it was me and the eleven We received the Holy Ghost, there were cloven tongues like fire And this mighty sacred host, will reveal a great messiah Spirit and fire show me the way Spirit and fire lead me I pray The young will see new visions, and the old will dream new dreams The king will pour out his provisions, we’ll prophesy by many means See a moon of blood is rising, see the sun it turns to black This is the age of his returning, we are prepared for the attack! We are not filled with wine, but filled with power from on high Oh what does this mean? The hand of God we truly have seen Repent and believe, spirit and fire now receive Ten thousand men are now redeemed and born again
3.
I’m fighting these demons, they will me to fail Bewitching reminding, but truth must prevail Oh Satan he has taken a hold on me Oh I am redeemed, I am a slave made free I’m foolish and reckless; I’ve looked to this land Must live by the spirit, so I can withstand Oh Satan He dwells, casting His spells on me Oh I am made free, only by Calvary Lucifer though you know my disgrace, I will not hide my face; I will not hide my face Lucifer you’ll have no hold on me For I am a slave made free, I am a slave made free I am redeemed
4.
Archangel 04:22
Bright morning star, His throne you guard Lead worshipper, but no more Fell from the sky, Angel of Light Father of lies, Lucifer Why should that demon have all the glory? He was only Archangel at the start of the story He has deceived us see him devour We need a kingdom the kingdom of power Come see His reign, this land of pain Is His domain, evil one But one is greater, a mighty saviour Lord and creator, Lamb of God An angel as bright as sun But he’s not the chosen one His works are clear for all to see He lives inside of you and me
5.
Dry Bones 05:06
Take me to the realm where death and darkness reign Take me to the place where kingdoms fell in vein All I see is dry bones and life won’t come from death There will be no hope here leave this place in rest But the valley is quaking and the bones they are shaking See an army of dry bones revive Awaken, oh awaken, I will bring you back to life Awaken, oh awaken, see these dry bones they will rise See the skin is forming life will start again Here a work restoring power has been sent We will rise like eagles by His mighty breath Giving him the glory for His faithfulness By his power and might, I’ll prophesy Breathe a spirit of life, revive, revive us now
6.
Sonata 03:01
7.
I Will Not 04:01
A long time fighting, for triumph and success A long time waiting, in my loneliness I tire of giving, my all to this beast Draining life, and leaving me weak I will not stand for this I am much better than this Feel I’m wasting, time and power There’s no kindness, in this hour As I fall to my knees, losing control Constant failure, etched upon my soul
8.
Behold him on the cloud, He wears a golden crown A scythe is in his hands An angel He commands, to reap upon the lands The fruit of all the earth Will you fear the angel reaper? With the power of death Time to reap the harvest Time to reap what we’ve sown An angel wielding fire, death is His desire To reap upon the vine Into the press it goes, see the blood it flows Behold a crimson sea Death Is Coming, Death Is Coming I will not be afraid; I will not be afraid
9.
The Crown 04:19
See it slipping through our fingers, we’re losing all that’s pure and right Returning to the realm of demons, we have lost our way in the night For we are falling down and we are losing ground But our future’s safe and sound and we will not lose our crown Look to the crown, look to the crown Chosen for a royal priesthood, adopted for eternity Crown of life and endless riches, waiting there in victory Falling down
10.
Have no fear for I have redeemed you called you by name you are mine Journey on now I will be with you passing through waters walking through fire Abba father, unlike no other Yahweh eternal oh we sing I will lead you into a victory by my word a power will rise I will build this mighty nation walk in my ways the ways of the wise Ancient, ancient, ancient of days Wisdom, wisdom, in all of His ways Worthy, worthy, of all of the praise Ancient, ancient, ancient of days Bring your heart unto the maker of all things For he loves thee and he longs to give thee wings Seek him all your burdens lay them at his feet See now all those demos he will now defeat

about

Over the past near-decade, Lancashire’s medieval metal phenomenon Wytch Hazel have been honing an uncommonly wholesome, rustic and devotional brand of timewarped hard rock that’s all their own, with 2016’s Prelude and 2018’s II: Sojourn summoning to mind fevered images of Robin Hood and his Merry Men grooving to Jethro Tull and Thin Lizzy. Yet within moments of pressing play on their third LP, III: Pentecost, the musty mystical minstrelsy takes a back seat in favour of a rich, sumptuous, anthemic late-night drivetime vibe, passionately embracing the most high-end smash-hit classic rock and metal circa its late 1970s heyday. Among many savvy touchstones, the album’s concerted hike in professional quality across production, songwriting and performance was inspired by one especially lofty exemplar of the form: “What I had in mind was a singalong album, the album full of hits, a little bit like Fleetwood Mac Rumours,” confesses the band’s founding singer/guitarist/songwriter Colin Hendra. “I’ve never believed in filler - there’s no point recording something unless it’s the best it can be - so it was just striving for as much excellence as possible.”

To that end, the album is only now emerging a year after it was recorded - at The Stationhouse in Leeds, by ex-Purson multi-instrumentalist Ed Turner in the producer’s chair (engineering and mixing duties were handled by James Atkinson) - with twelve months of painstaking fine-tuning reaping dividends in the smooth, weighty, diamond-hard sound and immersive layers (acoustic guitars, synthesised strings, haunting piano, rainfall samples, Bible readings, some especially rampant Hammond organ work on I Am Redeemed, and Colin’s dad even added a cello rendition of Chopin’s Funeral March). “I thought I put a lot into the second album, but this album has been an absolute obsession,” stresses the band leader. “Every aspect had to be as good as possible. We’ve gone back and forth, Ed was tinkering with it for months on end. There’s quadruple tracking going on with the rhythm parts, then we’ve doubled, tripled and quadrupled all our lead parts to get that richness and fullness of sound, all meticulously planned with pages and pages of organisational notes. It wasn’t just ‘get in the studio and see how it goes!’” he laughs. “One day I did 14 hours of vocal recording. All vocals are double-tracked, I can’t express how much hard work that is. The last album feels like a breeze compared to what we’ve done with this - and I don’t plan on ramping it down!”

Musically there are gorgeous self-professed touches of Black Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult, AC/DC and early Scorpions (“With the soloing I was trying to go for Michael Schenker,” beams Colin), while the scampering headbanger I Will Not initially took a nod from Angel Witch, who Hendra was helping out on second guitar back in 2015 when the track was composed, before studio treatment made it sound “a lot more Wytch Hazelly”. But perhaps the most lateral comparison is to a band from the opposite spiritual realm, with Archangel an explicit homage to Swedish faux-Satanic devil cult Ghost. “I find them fascinating, Ghost; musically great, the songwriting is spot-on,” enthuses the frontman. “We share an intrinsic connection, with [Bad Omen honcho] Will Palmer being the person who discovered us both, that’s a special thing in some way. I’m really happy with that song. I wanted to write a song about Lucifer, but it had to be done right; I didn’t want it to be a song glorifying Satan, so it’s a song about, why does he get all the glory?!”

With the album’s title the most unambiguous statement yet of Colin’s Pentecostal Christianity, the man’s lyrics are even more nakedly devotional, his sincere, sensitive voice bristling with even stronger religious conviction - an avenue of inspiration that Wytch Hazel pretty much have to themselves in the modern metal scene. “I never set out to start a Christian band, I set out to start a heavy metal band,” Colin insists, “but it’s ended up being me as the songwriter from day one, so it just comes out. The music’s the focal point, but for me it’s difficult not to write what I write; my life’s about serving and worshipping God, so it’s only natural that it comes out in the music.” Lest any heathen headbanger start to fear any kind of evangelical conversion agenda, Colin expands on his position: “Music is created for all, it’s a common grace for everyone,” he affirms, “which is why the music that shows the glory of God the most, in my opinion, is not music created by Christians. It’s Black Sabbath, you know!”

credits

released October 30, 2020

Colin Hendra - Guitars/Vocals
Alex Haslam - Guitars
Andy Shackleton - Bass
Jack Spencer - Drums

Produced by Ed Turner
Engineered & Mixed by James Atkinson

David Hendra: Cello on “I am Redeemed”, “Sonata”, “Reap the Harvest” & “The Crown”
Deidre Trueman: Bible reading on “Ancient of Days”
Colin Hendra: Drums on “The Crown”

Recorded at The Stationhouse, Leeds

Artwork & Layout Branca Studio

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