Magick Touch - Blades, Chains, Whips & Fire

Magick Touch Blades Chains Whips & Fire cover
Magick Touch
Blades, Chains, Whips & Fire
Edged Circle Productions
Footloose and melodic 70s rock fans are in for a helluva treat with Bergen, Norway’s Magick Touch, which, at the turn of the New Year, released its sophomore full-length, “Blades, Chains, Whips & Fire”, under Edged Circle Productions, following a rather extensive, double CD debut in 2016. Representing a confounding jumble albeit yummy treasure trove of influences/inspirations, the Scandinavian trio’s ten tracks averaging a congenial four minutes each incorporate the mellifluous dazzle of Thin Lizzy and Boston with the braggadocious bluesy swagger of Ted Nugent and Whitesnake, while at times displaying a similar outré and offbeat flair as old time proto-metal worthies such as Bang! and Captain Beyond. Effectively, frontman/bassist’s Christer Ottessen’s soulful and enchanting vocals on “The Great Escape” smack of the dearly departed Phil Lynott’s; the rude, swaying stomp of “Midnight Sadusa” readily induces a bout of “Cat Scratch Fever”; as well, the feel-good, ABC after school special evoking guitar progression laying out “Believe in Magick” assures “More Than a Feeling”, whilst the lazily chromatic and wonky bloom of “Polonium Blues” has me “dancing madly backwards”!
Although numerous guitar parts – courtesy of fellow singer HK Rein – and vocal lines will undoubtedly procure a sense of deja-vu, rest assured the gang assumes its own identity as it does a wicked job of supplying a fluid momentum to its kaleidoscopic array of bad-ass riffs, bojangling leads, bumptious bass lines and buoyant drum beats without outright plagiarizing its forebears, starting off with a bang (pun intended) on the opener, “Under the Gun”, thanks to a gripping wah-wah induced guitar shuffle and noggin joggin’ drum fill colorfully introducing Ottesen’ endearing candor and concise, slightly-above mid-range equivocations, which truly shine chorus-wise, notably on the break-beat stylized retrograde shuffler “Siren Song”, which at one point actually brings to mind a festive cross between Whitesnake’s “Still of the Night” and GNR’s “Rocket Queen” – how do you like them (candy) apples?! – as well as the Kiss’ “Black Diamond” paralleling “Electrick Sorcery” (the reprised titular track from said debut), whose jovial, uber-catchy cadence indelibly imprints itself on the psyche upon first listen. As well, every track is distinguishable from the next; granted, the Ronald McDonald mimicking “Believe in Magick” diffidently rocks out much less than say, “Under the Gun”, “Midnight Sadusa” or another heavy-hitting number I’m quite fond of, “Lost with All Hands”, the brisk n’ crisp opening guitar riff of which sounds a lot like Night Demon’s “Life on the Run” (a summary of my life story!), whilst its hard-driving and somewhat grungy development – especially the raucously romanticized lyrics – reels me back to my youthful Urge Overkill phase... good times!
Omitting mention of fellow prestidigitator and drummer Bård Nordvik would be criminal as he unfalteringly and stoutly shuffles the deck for this class acts accessible with a capital “A” performance, supplying a mound of hearty rhythms and coalescing patterns and fills, from his ravishing rim shot rampage kicking off “Under the Gun”, to his bracing stock brigade pummeling on “After the Fire”, which further fuels the band’s grass roots bell-bottom blues. Amidst Magick Touch’s bric-a-brac of suavely sonorous overtones and undeniable party-flavored appeal, one can also subtly glean the same melancholic laisser-faire so prevalent with Sweden’s Black Trip (notably on the lugubriously drawn-out as well as Persian/“Kashmir” from Led Zeppelin insinuating closer and title track), another retro-active purveyor of noncommittal pentatonic skills and thrills I duly recommend to classic hard rock and traditional heavy metal enthusiasts alike. Suffice to say, Magick Touch’s “Blades, Chains, Whips & Fire” highly beckons to those who’ve an affinity for the bands mentioned above, as well as tasteful music lovers in general.