Despite the Top 40 dominance of singer/songwriters and mellow sounds like the Carpenters, hard rock bands sold millions of albums during the early- to mid-'70s. Alice Cooper had a string of improbable hits with their cartoon perversity and gory theatricality, while Grand Funk Railroad rode their stripped-down "power trio" format to massive success. And Black Sabbath was producing their most influential records, the ones that would inspire countless metal bands to emulate their sound and demonic affectations. Whitewitch may have been as good as any hard rock band of their day -- and was certainly better than many -- but, where Ozzy and company capitalized on an implied link to Satanism, White Witch worked the other side of the philosophical street, suggesting some vague association with "white" (good) magic. The lack of white magic-influenced bands in subsequent years indicates which approach was more successful and appealing to audiences. It couldn't have helped that they were on Capricorn Records, the label that was home to the Allman Brothers and many Southern rock bands they influenced. (Reportedly, unsold White Witch albums were melted down to press Dickey Betts' solo records.) Regardless of their obscurity, White Witch was versatile, often surprising, and always listenable. On their second (and best, and final) album, they integrating progressive, glam, and psychedelic elements into something of a hard rock sampler. Lead singer Ron Goedert (d. 2000) was a vocal chameleon, and the band was equally adept at playing heavy and with finesse. The addictive "Showdown" sounds like a gutsier version of Supertramp or a poppier Deep Purple, and trippy tracks, "Crystallize and Realize" and "Class of 2000" could almost pass for lightweight early Genesis. "Walk On," the album's best song, is a lilting stroll that would stand out on any of the Kinks' '70s concept albums. While the group's philosophy is never exactly clear, lyrics referencing the Book of Revelations and Jean Harlow (in a single song) make for interesting listening. And whether sounding like a leather-lunged Brit screamer or a ringer for Ray Davies, Goedert delivers even when the songwriting doesn't. Although A Spiritual Greeting was, in fact, the band's farewell, it's a satisfying slice of vintage hard rock.
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AllMusic Review by James A. Gardner