Maybe only a deaf metalhead who lives on a tree in a dense forest without Internet didn’t heard about Burning Witches (even in this rare case I have some doubts about it). Five girls in leather, which play classic 80s Heavy gained fans and media attention very quickly. And now they release their third, highly anticipated album Dance With The Devil.
In 2019 vocalist Seraina Telli leaved and the band faced a huge problem with replacement. In the end, the new vocalist was announced shortly before the Sweden Rock Festival 2019 – Laura Guldemond became a new voice of Burning Witches and appeared for the first time on this festival. Generally, fans welcome Laura warmly (while there were some disgruntled, of course) and Burning Witches continued to work on upcoming album.
If fans more or less knew what to expect from the album in musical aspect – 80s Heavy Metal is quite predictable thing, you know, still it was not so clear about Laura’s vocals. The first singles “Wings Of Steel” and “Sea Of Lies” sounds good but still there were some hesitations. So I hasten to inform that Laura coped great with vocals in the album: without claiming to replicate Seraina’s style, she turned on her inner witch fully and the album is filled with sinister tones.
After short intro “The Incarnation”, which immerses the listener to a mystic atmosphere, there starts “Lucid Nightmare”: fast Heavy metal with solid riffs, sharp solo-guitar and powerful drums. Laura squeals in verses and viciously snarls in choruses. With heavy riffs and successive solos, such vocal sounds really good.
“Six Feet Under” and “Necronomicon” sound heavy, evil and quite oppressive especially when Laura starts to scream or snarl again. Also there are quite simple but catchy riffs that cause involuntary headbanging.
The girls were definitely inspired by Judas Priest‘s speed and melody when they wrote “Wings Of Steel” (which is slightly differs from EP version). This song became aggressive and assertive. “Sisters Of Fate” equally refers to Accept and Iron Maiden with its riff. And “The Final Fight” Power/Speed Metal, somewhere to Primal Fear and early HammerFall‘s territory; although, the song has quite trivial and formulaic chorus.
Of course there should be a ballad in Heavy Metal album and Dance With The Devil isn’t the exception: here we got the “Black Magic”, beautiful and obviously sad song. Maybe it’s a little bit clichéd but it’s also melodic and it has a very catchy chorus, which will be sung by fans on the shows. Here you can also appreciate Laura’s clean vocals without screaming and roaring.
The album ends with “Battle Hymn” cover. I must say that it’s a very bold decision to make a cover on this song even with help from legendary Manowar guitarist Ross The Boss. Whichever way we take Manowar now (Hellfest 2019 situation is a goddamn disgrace; the show in Israel was some main rehearsal before the tour) it’s a very rough task to sing like a young Eric Adams but the girls solved it in original way. If this song initially sounded like an inspiring speech of a warlord, then Burning Witches version sounds more like a witch or even some necromancer, relishing by his knowledge and power, raising up his faithful army of the dead.
As a result, Dance With The Devil is a powerful, fast and eerie album, inspired by Heavy Metal classics and from time to time refers to a certain band. Some people may accuse it for some triviality, secondary and other things but sometimes you don’t need to record something super groundbreaking and mega original but just play Metal: play it loud, fast and qualitatively. Burning Witches cope greatly with this task.
Dance With The Devil was released on March, 6 via Nuclear Blast.
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