Review BURNING WITCHES ‘The Witch of the North’

Listening to Burning Witches’ newest album is like a curveball that approaches you. The band from Switzerland released a great debut and also the sophomore record ‘Hexenhammer’ was a real heavy metal treat. A break came when singer Seraina Telli left the band in 2019. Dutch vocalist Laura Guldemond joined and it took a while to get used to her way of singing that is slightly different from her predecessor. Now it’s another line-up change Burning Witches had to face. Guitarist Sonja ‘Anubis’ Nusseder left the quintet and a second guitarist was needed, a gap that is closed by Larissa Ernst, who joined in 2020 and gives her debut on ‘the Witch of the North’.

Lyrically and musically the band leaves everything as it was. Also the forth delivery is based on traditional heavy metal from the ’80s, inspired by bands like Judas Priest and others. Once in a while I was reminded of Zed Yago, which has to do with melody-lines and intonation of Guldemond. Each of the songs itself is solid stuff for metalheads that prefer a good riff and the fact that the new songs are a bit heavier is a positive aspect of ‘The Witch of the North’.

Although Burning Witches did a lot of things right on their forth longplayer, ‘The Witch of the North’ can’t surprise. The final punch, that was so present on the first two longplayers, isn’t very present on the newest album. The spark, that ignites a metal firework can’t be found, even a few times listening to longplayer from start to finish. Tracks like ‘The Circle of Five’ is good stuff, but also not more.

‘The Witch of the North’ also continues a tradition of cover version and it is peculiar to the album, that ‘Hall of the Mountain King’, the Savatage classic, is the best song on this record.

A new album from Burning Witches always raises the expectation of a new and next portion of the metallic potion. ‘The Witch of the North’ certainly includes the right ingredients and it is the way those are put together that doesn’t provide super-power but is more of a nice energizer. This album isn’t disappointing but it also feels like leaving the bases loaded in a way by missing the curveball.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Winter’s Wrath
  2. The Witch Of The North
  3. Tainted Ritual
  4. We Stand As One
  5. Flight Of The Valkyries
  6. The Circle Of Five
  7. Lady Of The Woods
  8. Thrall
  9. Omen
  10. Nine Worlds
  11. For Eternity
  12. Dragon’s Dream
  13. Eternal Frost
  14. Hall Of The Mountain King (Bonus)

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: May 28th, 2021

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