Album Review

Burning Witches – The Witch Of The North: Album Review

Burning Witches return with their fourth long player; The Witch Of The North. A blistering set of heavy metal songs that will thrill you.

Released: 28th May 2021

Label: Nuclear Blast

Format: CD / Ltd. CD / Vinyl (Various Variants) / Digital

Burning Witches wear their influences firmly on their sleeves and let the passion they have for heavy metal flow out of their souls in spades. The Witch Of North is their fourth long player and it builds on previous efforts with aplomb.

Steeped in Norse mythology and folklore, you don’t have to wait too long before you can get those neck muscles going. Winter’s Wrath opens the album in atmospheric fashion before the title track lays the foundation for the next hour of solid heavy metal. Laura Guldemond’s vocals are fierce and full of variety in the opening salvo. There is an Amon Amarth feel to aspects of this song with deathly growls smattered amongst the pummeling track.

Pummeling is a word that you could use to describe vast swathes of The Witch Of The North. Tainted Ritual, Thrall, Nine Worlds and Dragon’s Dream all slay. The solo work from new witch, Larissa Ernst, on the latter is stupendous. Her addition to the ranks gives a different dynamic to the groups sound; her precise and meticulous playing is a joy to listen to. Couple this with the thrilling bass work of Jay Grob and there is some mystical magick at play.

Burning Witches
Burning Witches

A tradition with Burning Witches is that they always throw in a ballad to break up the ferocity. Flight Of The Valkyries starts this way with slower tempos and soulful vocals but just when you think you’re in for a little break, the song erupts in thrashy riffs and furious drumming from Lala Frischknecht. Full balladry is reserved for Lady Of The Woods. It is epic in scale and works majestically at the mid point of the album. Guldemond’s vocals are phenomenal alongside the guitar work from Larissa and Romana Kalkuhl; there are power chords everywhere – it’s destined to be a corker live.

With the live environment in mind, there are some real crowd pleasers here. We Stand As One and the biographical Circle Of Five both have huge choruses that will go down a storm at many a festival in the years to come. To top the album off, the band enlisted the help of Chris Caffrey of Savatage for a cover of his bands Hall Of The Mountain King. He helps out with guitar and the solos to make up a brilliant collaboration.

The Witch Of The North is a massive album. It can only propel this extrememly talented and verstalie band to further heights. Steeped in class metal and thrash it may be, but there is a real distinction that Burning Witches are carving out for themselves. It’s exciting to think about just where this band will end up.

You can read our interview with Burning Witches’ Laura Guldemond here. She discussed plenty of aspects of the new album with us.

Watch the video for Flight Of The Valkyrie below.

Burning Witches: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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