Dance With the Devil is the third studio album from the all-female metal machine that is Burning Witches. A solid statement of intent, with a renewed vigour thanks to the incredible vocal talents of new vocalist Laura Guldemond, this is an album that refuses to take any prisoners. If you like heavy metal, then you will absolutely love this!
We’re lured in with some beautiful acoustic melodies and seductively hypnotic chanting, creating a false sense of haunting calm before the album starts proper with the relentless ‘Lucid Nightmare’. It smashes through the tranquillity of the intro mercilessly and throws the kitchen sink at you in one four-and-a-half-minute slammer. Killer riffs, pounding drums and a mix of high-pitched, Halford-esque shrieks and gnarlier, guttural growls cover all the necessary bases. And I haven’t even mentioned the irresistible solo that cuts through the heart of the track (something that guitarists Romana and Sonia pull off time and again on this release).
Once you’ve heard ‘Lucid Nightmare’, you’ll know what to expect from the rest of the album. The title track is a fist-pumping dose of eighties-style arena metal, tailor-made for the live show with an infectious chorus that won’t take long to burrow into your head. ‘Wings of Steel’, the first single the band released to show off their new vocalist, could easily have been an out-take from Judas Priest’s Painkiller album (probably the highest praise I could ever give to a band!), whilst ‘Six Feet Underground’ takes a darker route, without letting up on the pace for a single second.
‘Black Magic’ slows things down halfway through the record, and gives Laura a chance to really showcase the depth of her vocal skills. A sensational ballad, beautifully put together, it’s a chance for the listener to breath, before ‘Sea of Lies’ crashes its way through with that infectious riff and Lala’s pounding drums.
‘The Sisters of Fate’ is a sing-a-long riot that’ll have you punching the air in sheer joy, evoking memories of Manowar’s ‘Fighting the World’, whilst ‘Necronomicon’ steers excitingly close to thrash metal territory at times.
The last two original tracks, ‘The Final Flight’ and ‘The Threefold Return’ are superb, with the former in particular bringing a degree of thunder that pulls together the talents of all five women superbly. We then get treated to a bombastic cover of Manowar classic ‘Battle Hymn’ (featuring Ross the Boss in a guest appearance), and it’s the perfect way to close the album in a truly epic fashion.
Essentially, Dance With the Devil is a metal album for metalheads, by metalheads. It’s that simple. An exciting witches brew of Judas Priest, Manowar, U.D.O and Doro, but with a personality all its own, Dance With the Devil a complete belter from start to finish and almost impossible to criticise. Burning Witches have released their best album to date, a mission statement that you’d do very well to heed. Buy the album, crank it up to eleven, and let them cast their spell on you…