Draw Down the Moon (Cleopatra Records)
Recorded before Dio’s death from stomach cancer in May, Draw Down the Moon summons mystical imagery and muscular melodies, while also alluding to Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. No wonder Icarus Witch has been placed at the forefront of the so-called New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal movement. Vocalist Matthew Bizilia’s register is a little too high to match that of Dio, but he sings about “Black Candles,” “Funeral Wine” and a “Serpent in the Garden” with similar gusto and spirit. A cover of Priest’s “The Ripper” concludes this intense, concise slab o’ trad metal.