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Burning Witches – 'Dance With The Devil' Album Review


1. The Incantation

2. Lucid Nightmare

3. Dance With The Devil

4. Wings Of Steel

5. Six Feet Underground

6. Black Magic

7. Sea Of Lies

8. The Sisters Of Fate

9. Necronomicon

10. The Final Fight

11. Threefold Return

12. Battle Hymn

There are certain band names that jump out at you as fully embracing every stereotype of the genre of music that they are a part of, and Burning Witches manage to do that both with their band name and the album name as well. They have leapt feet first into the ridiculousness of Metal, sounding like a band from the 80’s heydays of Metal, all screeching yet melodic vocals, ridiculous guitar sweeps and galloping bass. But it works for them and creates a brilliantly enjoyable listen from start to finish.

It shouldn’t need pointing out in these enlightened years of 2020, but the fact that they are an all female Metal band is still a rarity, and it’s an absolute delight to hear the old boys club of Classic Metal from thirty years ago being filtered through their different experiences. And they aren’t just technically good at playing, but they write some great tunes as well!

This album starts with a brief track call the “The Incantation”, designed to set the mood for the album to follow, and then slams in with “Lucid Nightmare”, the first proper track on the album and a definite scene setter for what is to come. With a Maiden-esque riff and some beautiful guitar work all introduced within the first thirty seconds, this song just keeps elevating throughout and is a delight, a perfect way to start an album of this magnitude.

A couple of songs later and we get to one of my favourite tracks on the album – “Wings Of Steel”. This fast paced and excitable song is the first time on the album that I feel like the band are standing out as new. In the two songs prior to it, they sound good, but a little like a mixture of other bands rather than standing on their own two feet, but there is something distinctly individual and fun about “Wings Of Steel”, and it immediately went onto my “Best of 2020” playlist.

After that, the album goes through an absolutely Rock-solid stage. “Six Feet Underground” is another great track, “Black Magic” slows it down for a song that is almost a ballad, but avoids all the pitfalls of having it be too slow, too sentimental or just not gripping enough – and considering those are pitfalls that much more famous bands fall into regularly, that’s a really nice thing to see.

“Sea Of Lies” is another cracker for me – again, almost instantly added to my playlist as it’s eminently singable with, and musically interesting, wandering through different tempos and having multiple great riffs underscoring the whole track. The album slows down a little after this, with “The Sisters Of Fate” and “Necronomicon” being slower tracks that, while I wouldn’t necessarily jump to them for an individual listen, are positioned perfectly within the album to add extra texture while still keeping up the momentum.

And then we get my third top pick (if you can have such a thing) – the effortlessly brilliant “The Final Fight”. If we still lived in the eighties where singles mattered, I’d have been amazed if this wasn’t the first one. Perfectly crafted, this is the sort of track that breaks niche bands to being mainstream names, and this track is exciting and anthemic all in one. For me, the album doesn’t quite reach the height of “The Final Fight” again, with the last two tracks “Threefold Return” and “Battle Hymn” being perfectly serviceable tracks, providing a good ending to the album.

In short, Burning Witches are a perfect antidote to the weird situation we all currently find ourselves living in. They are escapist in the best way, and this album is filled with good songs and sprinkled with absolutely brilliant ones. In short, this band is all-female, all-enthusiasm and altogether a joy to listen to. Have a listen on your streaming platform of choice and, if you enjoy it, go out and buy it. Remember – in these virus-stricken times, musicians are finding themselves unable to tour and therefore a lot of smaller bands could find themselves in financial dire straights – so do your bit and buy albums wherever possible.

Review - Michael Braunton

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