‘We are the ones that never fail’ chant Burning Witches during the rip-roaring song Circle Of Five from their upcoming album The Witch Of The North.
This theme of sisterhood weaves it ways throughout the Swiss bands fourth album, nowhere more so than the ode to classic metal that is We Stand As One. The track itself perfectly displaying vocalist Laura Guldemond ability to uncannily reach vocals ranges not heard since Rob Halford at his peak while anthem-like backing vocals roar through the speakers.
It’s their fourth album in only four years. A time frame that has seen the band successfully level up through the metal leagues to some of the biggest stages in the world and it easy to see why.
A heavy grooving rhythm section underpinned by turbo charged drummer Lala Frischknecht is complimented by duelling guitars from Romana Kalkuhl and Larissa Ernst.
This guitar work shows in epic swirling solos such as from We Stand As One and Dragon’s Dream are complimented by soulful melodies from the ballad Lady Of The Woods, a track not out of place in a big blockbuster 80’s Hollywood movie.
The band have taken great care to paint a picture in your mind of their songs as displayed in Flight Of The Valkyries which starts as a dreamy ride on the clouds before thrusting you into the cockpit of jet fighter shooting down the enemy.
The completion of the album is a ball stomping cover of Savatage’s Hall Of The Mountain King, which matches with the Nordic theme throughout. The track features Savatage guitarist Chris Caffery laying down the solo and adding another layer to the already heavy guitars.
The band have made no secret of their love for Priest, Maiden and Manowar and that admiration is carefully added to the mix however this is a band that stands alone from being a mere tribute act.
They are metal, they have duelling guitars, the riffs will make your neck sore from head banging and the vocal range is as powerful as it is aggressive. If that is your thing then Burning Witches are correct, they are the ones who never fail.
Album Review By Iain McCallum