This is the fourth album from Swiss heavy metallers Burning Witches.
I always enjoy hearing some new material from this band. Can they follow up 2018’s Hexenhammer and 2020’s Dance with the Devil with another slab of prime heavy metal goodness?
The answer is an emphatic yes.
This is an album of thunderous old-school heavy metal played with modern finesse and plenty of passion. It’s relatively rare to hear this sort of music these days, especially when it’s as well-done as it is here. Burning Witches may have a sound that’s rooted in the past, but true metal will never die, as music like this is timeless.
The music is delivered in the classic metal style; heavy, power, and thrash metal influences are skilfully combined into songs that hit the spot very well. The band have learned from the best of their 80s metal and rock influences, but have successfully channelled these into charismatic and hard-hitting heavy metal songs that stand out from the pack due to their obvious quality.
Each song is well-written and memorable. Burning Witches clearly know their way around the genre, and their obvious enthusiasm is infectious. Each track has something to recommend itself; whether it’s a rousing chorus, a catchy riff, a hummable melody, a searing lead, or a thrilling guitar solo, the songs have what it takes to stoke the fire in every heavy metal fan’s heart. Burning Witches pack a lot of content into their songs, and the results speak for themselves. Every band member shines, and some of the solos and lead work in particular is exemplary. The band’s singer sounds better than ever too.
This album’s cover song is Hall of the Mountain King by Savatage, and a very worthy version it is too.
Overall The Witch of the North is a strong and professional addition to the band’s discography, and will quite probably end up being my favourite album of theirs. Fans of true heavy metal should not let this pass them by.
Very highly recommended.
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