REVIEW: BURNING WITCHES – “Dance With The Devil”
Swiss all woman heavy metal group ‘Burning Witches’ have been making waves in the world of metal music for all the right reasons. Their self-titled debut album and 2018’s Hexenhammer established these ladies as seasoned musicians with brilliant talent blessed with the ability to write some great songs with a style reminiscent of some giants in the genre yet maintain a certain individuality. Post being singed up by Nuclear Blast and some line-up changes; frontwoman Laura Guldemond, Guitarists Romana & Sonia, Bassist Jeanie, and Lala Frischknecht behind the kit are all geared up to give us their third full-length studio release – Dance with the Devil.
For starters the artwork is quite rudimentary with the band members posing in front of a very typically 80’s devilish backdrop. Now typically this band has a very generic heavy metal tone to their sound and structure, and while that continues to hold in this album, they seem to have added an extra layer of melody. the album starts off with an intro theme “The Incantation” and then quickly dives into “Lucid Nightmare”. The structure and melody are quite standard from the perspective of the genre and the pacing is steady with some amped up riffing, powerful singing and harmonized guitars, and pretty much makes up the DNA in terms of what the record has to offer. “Black Magic” is the ballad track of the album and has been done beautifully. There is some soul and emotion to its content. The structure is progressive in nature, it starts off acoustic and slowly graduates to a heavier tone and makes for an instant favourite. This album also has experimented with guitar work and some pieces have a hint of old school death metal in them like the likes of “Necronomicon” as well as some anthem based tracks like “Threefold Return” & “Battle Hymn” which features likes of guitarist Ross Friedman and Symphony X bassist Michael LePond. There is even some tribute to the 80’s hair metal scene with “The Final Fight” & “The sisters of fate”, the former being my personal favourite. The rest of this album is not new. Title track “Dance with the Devil” and “Sea of Lies” are both out on Youtube. The carrying very catchy chorus and some great riffage. “Wings of Steel” is also carried forward from their EP, which was also released previously as a single.
Laura puts on a great show and has done some amazing singing and continues to be the shining light in this record. Her style is synonymous to the metal gods she is influenced by, and in a world full or growls and operatic, we could use more Halfords I also think its great to see more women in the metal industry. Proves two things, one; gender has nothing to do with it; two it gives perspective. All is not perfect with this record though, some may argue that the structure is repetitive and solo pieces lacklustre, but its important to keep in mind that not every new album put out today needs to be some sort of ground breaking mind shattering hasn’t-been-done-before experiment, and sometimes its nice to just kick back and enjoy it for what it is. And what it is; is a solid heavy metal album.
‘Dance with the Devil’ may not be perfect, but it reminds us that not every album needs to be some sort of ground-breaking experiment, and that sometimes it’s nice to just kick back and enjoy a solid heavy metal album. And solid it certainly is.