Formed only five years ago, Swiss act Burning Witches are already set to release album number three. Their first full-length record since the departure of original singer Seraina Telli in June last year, Dance with the Devil (Nuclear Blast) features her replacement Laura Guldemond on vocal duties and the five-piece haven’t missed a beat.
On their first two records, Burning Witches were all about riffs, attitude, and causing serious damage to as many necks as possible, and right from the moment ‘Lucid Nightmare’ kicks in with Guldemond’s piercing, Rob Halford-esque vocals, you instantly know that’s going to be the case again here.
‘Dance With the Devil’ sounds like classic Warlock (due in no small part to Guldemond’s strong European accent), ‘Wings of Steel’ could very easily be a Manowar title, and doesn’t actually sound too far removed from it either, ‘Six Feet Underground’ is a solid enough cut, and the excellent ‘Black Magic’ is a suitably dark power ballad.
Growing in strength with ‘Sea of Lies’, the memorable mid-paced stomp of ‘The Sisters of Fate’, the doom-laden ‘Necronomicon’ with its flourishes of Middle Eastern melody, and the wonderful uptempo strut of ‘The Final Fight’. The album ends with the powerful ‘Threefold Return’ and a cover of ‘Battle Hymn’ by Manowar, featuring none other than Ross the Boss himself on lead guitar duty.
A bright production allows the guitars of talented duo Romana Kalkuhl and Sonia Nusselder to shine, especially on the solo to ‘Necronomicon’, while bassist Jeanine Grob and drummer Lala Frischknecht drive each track forward with precision and power. Many of the songs might stick to a simple, tried and tested formula, but Dance With the Devil is as unashamedly heavy fucking metal as it gets.
7 / 10