Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway

It’s almost Fall again and, more importantly, music festival season! It goes without saying, but I will say it regardless, Riff Relevant takes great pleasure participating in bringing great bands to the masses.

This has happened annually, thanks to our untiring auricular coverage and Editor’s partnerships with organizers, as well as fellow sponsors, in presenting several regional cultural gatherings. One of them is the blue-collar, gritty city of Pittsburgh’s promenade of heaviness, DESCENDANTS OF CROM… and we are roughly a month away from its glorious third year occurring.

Like the previous pair of DESCENDANTS OF CROM happenings, I plan to be in attendance for the upcoming third round to be held the weekend of September 21st and 22nd, as well as the Pre-Gala event on September 20th. In fact, it is the latter that will be the first provider for scratching off some “bucket list” type bands – ones that I have never seen live and hope to remedy soon.

Just remember this, there are numerous bands I look forward to seeing live at next month’s DESCENDANTS OF CROM, some seen before, some not, and it is the Have-Not factor essential to what follows. That is why we are here now, right now, as we take a look at my latest round of Must-See Bands, via the 2019 DESCENDANTS OF CROM III edition.

The aforementioned Pre-Fest Gala, taking place at Howlers in Pittsburgh on Friday, September 20th, will be ground zero for my witnessing a long-running quested contender for me. In other words, this band ranks rather highly on said list of bands that I have sought to see perform live for many a year, in fact, and they are none other than Pittsburgh’s very own ICARUS WITCH!


Photo By First Angel Media


With their return by means of a new line up and a then-new 2018 studio offering ‘Goodbye Cruel World‘ from Cleopatra Records, this revered representative of U.S. Power Metal inspired fans to take notice. These actions came after a lengthy six-year absence and ultimately revealed this iconic act was more than making up for lost time. Long-running members, founder Jason Meyers (bass, keyboards) and Quinn Lukas (guitar), welcomed vocalist Andrew D’Cagna (Brimstone Coven, Ironflame) and drummer Jon Rice (Scorpion Child, ex-Job For A Cowboy) into the coven and in doing so relaunched this classic band.

Truth is, ICARUS WITCH are no strangers to change nor have they ever been a band to back down from challenges and believe me, they have seen their fill of both. Formed in 2003, with the arrival of their first recording two years later, the ‘Roses On White Lace‘ EP (the title track is a take on the Alice Cooper classic), made quite a mark for ICARUS WITCH with metal fans.

That mark would become a scar as they cast one incredible studio-borne spell after another, bewitching metalheads around the world with 2005’s ‘Capture The Magic‘, 2007’s ‘Songs For The Lost‘, 2010’s ‘Draw Down The Moon‘, and 2012’s ‘Rise. Their knack for crafting technically masterful songs rife with traditional heavy metal elements, solid playing throughout, and instilling a wide range of emotion and aural textures in them, is second to none.



Be it the beyond respectable list of ICARUS WITCH original compositions or the amazing reinterpretations of classics from greats like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, or Def Leppard, this is one band that does not disappoint. As a longtime fan of theirs since the earliest days of ICARUS WITCH making themselves known, I am not drawing it down. Instead, I am OVER the moon about seeing them onstage for my first time.

It will have only taken 15+ years for me to do so, but nevertheless, that is the exact plan I intend to enact in the City Of Steel a month from now. I suggest that you get your ass up, come out, and get down with ICARUS WITCH, myself, and all the spectacular bands that will be doing their thing at DESCENDANTS OF CROM III next month. Find all the information, details, and other particulars you may need to know below.



Friday, Sept. 20th – Pre-Fest Gala @ Howlers

Icarus Witch, Fox 45, Enhailer, Void King, Motometer, Submachine

Saturday, Sept. 21st – Day 1 @ Cattivo

ASG, Valkyrie, Brimstone Coven, Argus, Foghound, Kingsnake, Sun Voyager, Potslammer, Witchkiss, Tines, Pillars, Night Vapor, Action Camp, Coma, Old Dream

Sun., Sept. 22nd – Day 2 @ Cattivo

Brown Angel, Solace, Black Pyramid, Backwoods Payback, Irata, Frayle, Leather Lung, Spacelord, Lightning Born, Killer Of Sheep, Pale Grey Lore, Riparian, White Alice


Tickets can be purchased on the DESCENDANTS OF CROM website.



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