Review: Magick Touch – Electrick Sorcery
Three-piece outfit Magick Touch comes to us from Bergen Norway. The band (HK Rein on guitar and vocals, Bård Nordvik on drums, and Christer Ottesen on bass and vocals) formed in 2014 and released their debut album “Electrick Sorcery” in 2015.
Overall, the band and the album are on point for the genre and feel they’re aiming for. It’s got the right blend of grittiness, punchiness, and technical touches without being too dumbed-down or, conversely, going too overboard. To be blunt, this is what Kiss would sound like if they had real talent.
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1) Love Rocket.
This is a strong introduction for the album. It fades in, then comes blasting in full volume starting with guitars followed by the full band. It has a catchy chorus, complete with a gang choir of “woah-ah” to give it that classic arena rock feel.
2) Underwater Prison.
This tune takes a turn for the dark. It’s more bass-heavy with a kind of a creepy factor to it that recalls a heavy monster mash ambiance. It’s low, rumbling, gritty production and chord progression take a slight venture off the beaten path; and the frequent use of the tri-tone (which, by the way, was banned by the Catholic Church for the longest time as it was believed to be evil) gives this song a fun, unique character.
3) Trouble & Luck.
Still retaining the 70’s arena rock vibe, this song also injects a dash of 80’s pop rock on the chorus. It has a nice swing and sway to it, and the contrast in styles between the verse and chorus is refreshing and unexpected (something I think many listeners secretly crave). Variety is the spice of life. It would be nice to see the band expanding their sonic horizons more-so in this manner.
4) Joker Vs Ace.
It’s high-energy driven, straight up rock. Though, this is when the music begins to sound formulaic and bland, and begins to set the pace for the rest of the album. That being said, this song is ready for radio play—the masses tend to like things simple, uncomplicated, and straightforward. It’s still not a bad song; it’s just not the most creative.
A little slower than some of the other tracks, Wildfire is still flying the flag of 70’s arena rock. It’s a decent tune, though the repetitiveness is snowballing.
This short instrumental interlude would be a great beginning for a ballad, had the band decided to develop it further. Though, perhaps they decided not to, to avoid going down the same road of ‘Music from the Elder’ and ‘A World Without Heroes.’ It’s only about 40 seconds in length, which is a shame. It provides a break from the norm. It might have benefited the album had it been written as a longer piece. Instead, it is likely to be passed over and ignored at live shows and won’t be played on any radio stations be it satellite or web stations.
7) Dead Man in Chicago.
With Joker Vs Ace and Wildfire coming before it, Dead Man in Chicago is very seemingly paint by numbers. It’s slow, it’s dirty, and it’s reminiscent more and more of Kiss. This is a no-frills tune.
8) Out of Reality.
A little more up-tempo, Out of Reality is low & dirty. It seems like they’re down-tuned and playing as low as they can. It’s also no-frills overall, but it does have a guitar solo that goes on just a hair too long.
Swansong has got more swagger and attitude than the 5 songs that came before it; also, its bolder rhythmic approach sets this song apart from the others.
10) Loose Cannon.
This song brings the album full circle with the gang vocals—and that’s about it. The chorus isn’t one that a crowd can sing easily sing along to.
The album is a strong showcase of 70s arena rock and the talent of the trio. It has some very solid points overall, being the in-depth understanding of the genre, the execution, and consistent songwriting. At the same time, one of the drawbacks to the album is that after track 3, the songwriting gets so consistent it starts turning into white noise. These guys have a lot of talent, and the inventiveness of ‘Trouble & Luck’ leads me to believe this band is capable of so much more; I’d hate to see them pigeonhole themselves into a specific era of music simply for the sake of genre purity. True, some of the attractiveness of popular albums is the cohesiveness of the tracks between each other, but there is a difference between cohesive and redundant. Don’t be afraid to break the mold.
If you’re a fan of Kiss, then you’ll like this. As a matter of fact, you might like this even more just because of the raw talent these boys have without relying on the flashiness of spandex and rhinestone costumes, make-up, and pyrotechnics.
Keep on rockin’, Magick Touch. I look forward to the possibilities of what you might do on your next album. 7.5/10