BURNING WITCHES ARE BACK WITH A NEW LINEUP
Yes Burning Witches is back, with yet another lineup change. I was a huge proponent of the band’s previous two albums, Hexenhammer and Dance With The Devil. A lot of this had to do with the playing of since departed guitarist Sonia Anubis. I recently interviewed her, and she went as far as to say that she had planned her move to Crypta a year before it was announced. She felt stifled, and handcuffed in Burning Witches. She was not allowed to contribute to anything outside of leads to the band’s music. Hence her reason for bailing.
The band has released three full length albums. Each album has had a different lineup. That leads me to believe that what Sonia was saying probably applies to most of the other former members of Burning Witches.
I really liked the addition of Laura Guldemond to the band’s lineup. I thought she did great on Dance With The Devil, and is one of the highlights of The With Of The North as well. But her performance isn’t as good as the previous album. It seems as if it is held back because of the band trying to get heavier.
What stood out to me on the previous albums that featured Sonia was that she seemed to intermingle guitar melodies into the song, and help add additional layers to the tracks. As great as Larissa Ernst is a player, she, in my opinion doesn’t fit the band as well, or isn’t allowed to. Those guitar melodies, and lead runs are all gone.
The band previously felt like they had the perfect guitar pairing. Two contrasting players that complimented each other. It was as if they had Eric Peterson, and Alex Skolnick in the band. But they replaced their Skolnick with another Peterson. Every time Testament has added a different guitarist they have made the conscious effort to ensure the new player sounds different and compliment’s Peterson’s writing as well as his playing style. To me the band has succumb to listening to their own press, and believing reviews of their previous albums too much.
With previous releases I read over and over again “they’re trying to be the female Iron Maiden, they’re trying to be the female Judas Priest”. But this time around they’ve tried to show just how heavy they can get. They have tried going the Testament route, without trying to analyze the uniqueness, or what differentiates them from other bands.
To me they’ve added heavier elements that sound forced. “Hey this will please that reviewer that said too much Maiden”. But what they’ve accomplished is to be just another middle of the road metal band, that sounds like a lot of other metal bands. Nothing really new to offer, and nothing really unique or entertaining to put on the table.
You look at albums like Low or Demonic by Testament, they got really heavy, but they never lost the melody. Look at tracks like “Dog Faced Gods” “Hail Mary”, or even “Demonic Refusal”. The riffs were all completely different in style and didn’t sound like more of the same. If the vocals didn’t have a melody, the guitars had it. It continued to prove the band’s importance regardless of how heavy they got. There is never a feeling of well they’re sacrificing heaviness for melody or viceversa.
The Witch Of The North is an album that is full of refried riffs. It’s not a bad album, but there is nothing on it that grabs me like previous outings by the band. There is nothing to say, wow this a stinker. But at the same time, there is nothing on this album that make me feel that I need to listen to a track over and over again. Which is exactly what this band previously did for me with their music. What it makes me do want to grab classic albums by bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Death Angel and Testament.
I remember a conversation I had with Blitz from Overkill where he said the following about a different band, but I feel like it applies here. “Everything that band is doing sounds like a riff Mustaine or Hetfield wrote several decades ago. Why should I listen to them instead Megadeth or Metallica?” That pretty much sums it up for me.
On a side note, Savatage was a staple on WSOU back in the day. “Hall Of The Mountain” received a ton of airplay. It is an iconic song for me, and metal fans around the world. And if you’re going to cover this classic please allow your singer belt out, or make sure she can deliver that high note at the end of the song!
Here is Burning Witches with the title track off of their latest album The Witch Of The North.
On the fence about Burning Witches The Queen Of The North?
You may agree or disagree with what I have posted above. Regardless, give the album a shot, and determine for your self if you like it or not.
HERE ARE SOME OTHER NEW RELEASES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU
Alluvial – Sarcoma
Silver Lake by Esa Holopainen – Silver Lake by Esa Holopainen
Blackberry Smoke – You Hear Georgia
Bloodbound – Creatures Of The Dark Realm
Stormruler – Under The Burning Eclipse
Hellryder – The Devil Is A Gambler
Debauchery – Monster Metal
Ghastly – Mercurial Passages
Gwar – The Disc With No Name
Of Mice & Men – Bloom
Cirith Ungol – Half Past Human
Satyricon – Dark Medieval Times
Satyricon – The Shadowthrone
Alestorm – Live In Tilburg
Tygers Of Pan Tang – Majors & Minors
Support the site and the bands you love by picking up any of the albums listed above.
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