BURNING WITCHES - Dance With The Devil

March 4, 2020, a month ago

(Nuclear Blast)

Mark Gromen

Rating: 7.5

review heavy metal burning witches

BURNING WITCHES - Dance With The Devil

Those who missed out on the Wings Of Steel EP, last December, welcome to your introduction to new singer Laura Guldemond. Utilizing a high pitched shriek and guttural growl, the aggressive screamer lifts the Swiss Misses above most all-female acts. On the occasional coo, she recalls Gwen Stefani (No Doubt). Given the vocal upgrade, the musicians seem to have improved their game as well, undoubtedly whipped into shape by the tutelage of manager/overseer Schmier (Destruction).

At their slowest, traditional heavy metal, but there are a few forays bordering on speed metal and pre-release single "Wings Of Steel" comes close to melodic death territory. Eat your heart out Alissa White-Gluz. The twin guitar "Lucid Nightmare" is akin to Judas Priest's "Painkiller", a good sign post, in my book. The title track is gritty, but with a melodic undercurrent. Thumping bass/drums beneath riffing guitars on "Six Feet Underground", another tip of the cap to Halford & Co. The jangly (almost acoustic) ballad "Black Magic" shows some diversity, but being different, just for the sake of it, is pointless. The vocals are double tracked on this one too. Teutonic inspired clickety-clack metal (complete with growling vocals) gets things back on track, even with an unexpected detour (solo/break) midway through. Chugging "The Sisters Of Fate" showcases all the voices in Guldemond's head. A little whammy bar action and ride cymbal begin the lyrically sparse and mid-tempo (albeit pounding/heavy) "Necronomicon". Not much to the trad minded "The Final Fight", while sinister "Threefold Return" offers the grimmest, most deadly vocal.

The 11 cuts (twelve if you include "The Incantation" intro) conclude with a pedestrian Manowar cover ("Battle Hymns") complete with Ross The Boss on guitar and his bassist Mike LePond (Symphony X). Best not to go head-to-head with Eric Adams! The best stuff comes earlier in the running order.

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