Review: Burning Witches – The Dark Tower
Napalm Records (May 5th, 2023)
Reviewer: Stephen Brophy
Having only begun the process of getting the band together in 2015 and releasing their debut self-titled album in 2017, it has been a very busy 6 years for this Swiss all female Power/Heavy Metal band Burning Witches, with ‘The Dark Tower‘ being their 5th studio album. A very impressive work rate and shows what sort of a work ethic they employ. It’s Powerful Metal perhaps more than Power Metal, but does it matter what genre it falls under the main thing is that it has quality in both the playing and excellent vocals, that’s enough for me.
Sticking with their own formula and taking their main influences from Metal bands of the 80’s you can also definitely hear some Thrash in the music, speed, and it melds into a modern heavy Power Metal which sounds great, aggressive twin guitar attack of Larissa and Romana and perhaps the Thrash elements are also influenced as the album is produced by Destruction’s Schimer. The sound and vocals for me are also very German sounding, probably no surprise there either but also there’s no issue there it all fits perfectly.
The faster songs seem to grab me more on this album, I think it’s the guitars to be honest, but tracks like ‘Unleash The Beast’ provide with Laura’s powerful and at times screaming vocals alongside the screaming guitar solos with a thundering drum beat behind it, it’s just power from start to finish, and is indeed a beast. ‘Evil Witch’ also rips along at a speedy pace and just leaps out of the speakers. This is not to say that they can’t bring the pace down, ‘Tomorrow’ is a ballad that manages to fit in really well. ‘The Dark Tower‘ is definitely a heavier progression for the band, but their abilities allow them to play pretty much anything.
For the album version that I reviewed there are 13 songs, but some versions have an additional couple of tracks. Having tried hard not to, it’s still difficult to not compare female metal vocalists to Doro, and at times during this one I have to admit I slipped into the comparison, but it’s neither important or fair, aside from that Laura’s vocals stand up to the scrutiny, the Dutch singer is outstanding in many of the tracks.
Overall this is a cracking album, as I have always thought that all female bands get an unfair reputation without even being listened to, don’t do that here, put this one on loud and let it scream through your speakers. Romana has put together a group of top class musicians and a classy front woman that carries the songs so well. They have continued to develop with each album and we look forward to hear what’s next. Great stuff.
Rise Of Darkness
Unleash The Beast
World On Fire
House Of Blood
The Dark Tower
Heart Of Ice
Arrow Of Time
Doomed To Die
Into The Unknown
The Lost Souls