For only three years of existing Burning Witches gained a lot of attentions from fans and musicians as well. This is no wonder, however: oldschool Heavy/Power Metal played by girls. In 2017 the band releases their debut album Burning Witches and soon the band signs a contract with Nuclear Blast, and in quite short time will release their sophomore work Hexenhammer.
Burning Witches was formed in Switzerland in 2015 as guitarist Romana Kalkuhl’s project – she always wanted to make a band with female line-up. Shortly Jeanine Grob (bass) and Seraina Telli (vocals) join the band. While working on their debut album, girls joined by drummer Lala Frischknecht. In January 2018 guitarist Sonia Nusselder completes the line-up. Schmier from Destruction became the band’s producer.
The band states “Malleus Maleficarum” (Hammer Of Witches) as a main topic of Hexenhammer, “…book that legalized the extermination of the so-called ‘witches’ in the medieval times. The justification of murder against the weak is still a sad subject nowadays. So we wanna pay respect and remember”, say the band.
An album contains ten songs, two bonus tracks and atmospheric intro “Witch Circle” with “Dungeon Of Infamy” interlude. An intro’s atmosphere is changing with fast tempo sing “Executed” with smooth and heavy guitar riff. It can be heard easily that the band was inspired by Judas Priest, especially Seraina – her raspy vocals with sudden high pitches suits to this music greatly. But it must be said that in “Open Your Mind” (well, how many songs with this name does exist?) Seraina raises her vocals so high that sometimes it seems that she’ll snap and will get out of tune.
There are some touches of American Heavy Metal like Iced Earth, Manowar or Dio in an album also. It can be heard in “Maiden Of Steel” and “Dead Enter”. But the cover for “Holy Diver” didn’t impress me at all. It played technically well, sung also, with all Dio’s things, but this cover don’t cause nothing but intention to listen to original immediately.
Obviously, Heavy Metal album can’t be without a ballad, so it is also in Hexenhammer: sadly tragic “Don’t Cry My Tears”. It is moderately heavy, not too mawkish, with a good guitar solo.
As a whole, Hexenhammer is a good, strong work, but it’s quite far from “excellent” and “album of the year”, as some critics says. It’s just an oldschool Heavy Metal with some touches of Power and rare touches of Thrash. Not so exquisite, but without flows. At the same time I’ll dare to say that the band has a big potential, so we can wait for their best work.
Hexenhammer will be released on November, 9 via Nuclear Blast.