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The Witch Of The North

   
       
       
       
     
             
Burning Witches are an all female heavy metal band from Switzerland formed in 2015, who released their debut album 'Burning Witches' in 2017. The four song live E.P. 'Burning Alive' was released at the beginning of 2018, with the bands second album 'Hexenhammer' released at the end of 2018. At the beginning of 2019 the band re-released their debut album including, as a bonus, their live E.P. and simply titled this release 'Burning Witches + Burning Alive'. Replacing their singer in 2019 Burning Witches released the E.P. 'Wings Of Steel' later the same year, and quickly followed that release with their third full length album 'Dance With The Devil' released in 2020...    
             
...quite frankly an incredible range of output from a band that formed only six years ago! Such hard work has resulted in appearances at major metal festivals, such as Wacken Open Air, Summer Breeze, and Rock Harz Open Air. And now, in 2021, the Swiss metal machine release their fourth album 'The Witch Of The North' - a barn storming blast of heaviness heavier than any of the bands previous albums, opening with the haunting, tension building intro 'Winter's Wrath', followed by the albums title song 'The Witch Of The North'. A thundering mid tempo stomp, 'The Witch Of The North' (the song) runs the anthemic metal trail, striding tall and proud. Burning Witches have built a reputation for blistering paced metal with searing vocals, two characteristics associated with the sound of traditional heavy metal. But as the band grow and mature, so does their song writing - and 'The Witch Of The North' (both song and album) is simply the band growing.    
             
'Tainted Ritual' is heavier than the opening song, stomping hard with every twang and thump. There are also pace and tempo changes, as 'Tainted Ritual' storms on by. This is traditional heavy metal as it's meant to sound like! Keeping the heaviness heavy, 'We Stand As One' rumbles onward like a bomber approaching its target - and with deadly precision, unleashes a ferocious attack. An Attack that penetrates the senses and pummels the mind. 'We Stand As One' stands at the heaviest end of the anthemic metal genre. A touch of mellowness enters the fray, as 'Flight Of The Valkyries' takes flight, building to the most melodic offering heard so far. Kind of threatening to enter ballad territory, 'Flight Of The Valkyries' played a teasing game for the first one and a half minutes. For a change of pace rattles 'Flight Of The Valkyries' into life, becoming the fastest song on the album so far. And for the first time, proper head banging can be done - come on moshers, get moshing!    
             
And the pace remains high as 'The Circle Of Five' lurches forth at a searing pace, the band galloping on like the red hot favourite in the final furlong. There is purpose, there is intent, there is the sound of traditional heavy metal filling the air - and it's a glorious sound. This is the kind of heavy metal I have come to expect from Burning Witches - as is a customary ballad, the band have included on each of their previous albums. Regular readers will know my position on ballads - they belong on rock albums, not metal ones - so I'm not gonna enter into a debate. Suffice to say, this albums ballad 'Lady Of The Woods', is a mellow, lighters in the air swagger, emotionally sung yet has a faint hint at a haunting atmosphere.    
             
And we're back to the heaviness once more, in the mighty shape of 'Thrall'. The most aggressively sung song so far, 'Thrall' oozes oomph and power as it strides on majestically, yet with tempo changes and a melodious swing, 'Thrall' meanders its way around every corner of the heavy metal genre. Burning Witches are delivering their most diverse offering to date. 'Omen' acts as a menacing intro for 'Nine Worlds' - an aggressive and extremely hard hitting heavy metal march. The driving rhythm pushes 'Nine Worlds' on at pace, and will keep the moshers in the mosh pits moshing hard. The devilish intensity of the album hasn't relented for a second, apart from the ballad, with every song a heavy hitting slice of traditional inspired heavy metal.    
             
And talking of traditional inspired heavy metal, 'For Eternity' reeks of the iconic NWOBHM sound. The opening riffage could easily travel back to the eighties heyday for the NWOBHM evolution and not be out of place. 'For Eternity' maintains its traditional feel for all of its six minute length - making it the longest song on offer - even planting a foot on the monitor! With the albums end looming tall over the horizon, Burning Witches finally turn up the heat and bring a touch of scorching pace to the album in the shape of the speedster 'Dragon's Dream'. But like the band have done all album, an injection of the melodic across the chorus break, introduces a very sing a long able and crowd participative chorus. 'Dragon's Dream' is surely gonna go down a storm when played live! 'Eternal Frost' ends the album as it began, in a haunting, tension filled manner.    
             
Overall, a very heavy yet melodic album of hard hitting heavy metal, showing progression and maturity from their previous releases.    
             
             
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
             
Reviewed For Metal Gods TV    
             
             
Other Reviews    
             

           
           
Burning Witches      
           
"heavily influenced by the eighties NWOBHM evolution, this album is packed to the rafters with blistering heavy metal, that is both catchy and infectious" Read Review      
     
     
     
           
             
             

           
           
Hexenhammer      
           
"a sparkling album of full on, galloping heavy metal, with a superb cover song to round off the album in cracking style" Read Review      
     
     
     
           
             
             

           
           
Burning Witches + Burning Alive      
           
"an opportunity to own two releases in one package, the live songs on offer displaying the power and energy of Burning Witches during a live performance" Read Review      
     
     
     
           
             
             

           
           
Wings Of Steel E.P.      
           
"a very good way to introduce their new singer - a polished studio recording and an energetic live performance" Read Review      
     
     
     
           
             
             

           
           
Dance With The Devil      
           
"a glorious romp of heavy metal - fast, furious, aggressive yet highly melodic, 'Dance With The Devil' is bliss from the Swiss five piece" Read Review      
     
     
     
           
             
             
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