Wicked Minds - Witchflower. 2006 Italy
CD issue: 2006 Black Widow (2 CD incl/ DVD)
Wicked Minds are unabashedly retro rock. Hammond, Moog, Mellotron, Rickenbacker, Gibson Les Paul, and... cowbell. You know the drill by now: 1971-1973 Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, and a host of obscure hard rock progressive bands from England, Germany, and Scandinavia. And, to Wicked Minds credit, they actually put the prog in progressive hard rock. And there are a few players in it, all worth checking out: Fellow Black Widow recording artist Areknames, Sweden's Black Bonzo, Blood of the Sun from the USA, and a pile more in recent times that come to mind. In some ways, these bands are better than their 1970s ancestors. I believe that's because they're more focused on the sound they want to achieve. The original bands may have experimented with other ideas, or pursued more commercial avenues due to pressure from major label executives. Commercial success almost always altered a band's direction in those days. Today, success for a band like Wicked Minds would be to keep playing 1970's retro progressive hard rock.
The acoustic piece 'The Court of the Satyr' followed by the blistering heavy organ/guitar of 'Sad Woman' is absolutely splendid and represents the album's highlight sequence.