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.”
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