Witching Hour Reviews

Secrets of The Witching HourYes, real ones! After all that press, at least two people have actually bothered to listen to the thing. Here’s what they thought of it. Keep your eye out for more and do let me know if you find any.

Long time Crimea fan and occasional author Stuart Denyer has stuck his long and thorough review at, and there’s another one, found by Rusty… Allan Ogg from The Jumbled Box chips in a personal recommendation..

Also reviewing the free offering is Mike Rea who’s comments pop up on both Contact Music and the Salisbury Journal, with the eventual 7 / 10 mostly due to the excellence of Tragedy Rocks.

Secrets of The Witching Hour – The Crimea

Secrets of The Witching HourArtist – The Crimea
Album – Secrets of The Witching Hour
Label – Download from

There are ideas that are interesting, and ideas that aren’t. But releasing albums that you don’t charge for is an idea that very few have had the desire to follow through.

The Crimea’s debut, Tragedy Rocks, was an astonishing album from this British band, which even saw single Lottery Winners On Acid break into the charts.

However, they were dropped by Warners despite that successful start, and instead of re-entering the major label cycle, they have decided to release their self-produced album for free via their website, intending to make their living by touring and selling merchandise.

A brave attempt, but is the album any good?

Well, it is, if it’s not quite the classic that their debut still is.

The recipe’s the same: upbeat, melodic, almost-anthemic and catchy choruses aplenty, with a wry wit to the lyrics.

However, one gets the sense that using the same recipe over again has removed some of the freshness that made the debut so compelling.

Secrets of The Witching Hour is a very good album, although it may not generate the rabid, passionate support that the business strategy requires (unless the students start listening to the left-field lyrics closely).

See for yourself – it’s free from

Rating 7/10

Review by Mike Rea from the Salisbury Journal, 08/05/07.

The Crimea – Secrets of The Witching Hour

We’d just come back from holiday last night and, while I was trawling through my backlog of mail, I noticed a message about Secrets Of The Witching Hour, the second album by The Crimea. What was unusual about it was the fact that the band have released the album for free over the internet. So off I went straight away and downloaded it as I already had their debut album, Tragedy Rocks, which I really liked.

If you want to download Secrets Of The Witching Hour just go to The Crimea official site and follow the obvious links. It’s not a huge download, with 11 tracks and lasting just under 37 minutes, it comes in at under 35Mb and it even comes with CD cover artwork. However, if you want the better audio quality offered from a CD version, and of course the option to digitize it to a format other than MP3, it’s on sale from the band’s official site shop. Here’s the track list…

  • All Conquering
  • The 48A Waiting Steps
  • Raining Planets
  • Man
  • Bombay Sapphire Coma
  • Don’t Close Your Eyes On Me
  • Loop A Loop
  • Light Brigade
  • Several Thousand Years Of Talking Nonsense
  • Requiem Aeternam
  • Weird

The band, who don’t currently have a record label, have basically financed the album by themselves and are releasing it for free in a bold move to try and widen their fan base and in so doing increase sales of upcoming concert tickets and merchandise. They’re the first reasonably well known band to do this and with the record sales industry facing serious changes, it may be a trend other artists follow if it proves successful.

As for the music, if you liked the excellent Tragedy Rocks, then I don’t doubt that you’ll like this too. My daughter saw them at T In The Park last year, bought the first album right away and got me hooked as well. I suppose I’d class The Crimea as a pop-rock band and Secrets Of The Witching Hour has a pretty catchy mix of beautifully melodic tunes with great vocals and lyrics. I’m listening to it (again) as I write this and my head’s bobbing away.

It’s one of those albums that grows on you as you listen to it more and more. Give it a try, it’s free!

Review by Allan Ogg from the The Jumbled Box, 06/05/07.

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4 Responses to “Witching Hour Reviews”

  1. Denyer says:

    Guess I can cross that off my to-do list for the day, then…

    Another one that Rusty found –

  2. Denyer says:

    “Lucky Stars” is what was originally on the Corporation Records track listing, and what was in the early MP3 pack for the album (before the artwork was added.)

    Did you make up the track titles on the Klutzville EP?

  3. Christopher says:

    not the klutzville ones but most of the ones i had for xmas 05 i think… i’m sure i randomly labled things as red october, born loser, kalashnikovs at dawn etc… maybe i’m just getting mixed up with myspace demos or whatever.

    and i’m sure i added that jumbled box review a while ago too :| i swear all these crimea reviews have made me crazy.

  4. Richy poo says:

    what a great album!!!
    may not be to everyones taste but definitly worth a try, ITS FREE!
    cant wait to see em live now.

    top banana

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