Okay, people, we’ve got some big questions: What has become of the time when heavy metal and passion were pretty much the same thing? When unity and solidarity were more important than logic? When a band wasn’t a job but a vocation? We know, we know, the times, they are a-changin’ as Mister Bob Dylan would say. Still, it’s somewhat comforting to know that there is a Swiss community, a close circle of friends in which things are done in a different way. Like they were done in the past. Ladies and gentlemen, may we introduce: BURNING WITCHES – Europe’s most recent heavy metal sensation. And if you haven’t heard about them by now you should ask yourself where you’ve spent the past 24 months.
Here’s a brief summary. Firstly, BURNING WITCHES are an all-female band clad in jeans and leather. A band feverishly committed to the true, real, galloping thunder of traditional heavy metal. Secondly, they are an inseparable unit, an alliance whose all-weekly Thursday rehearsal is their innermost sanctum. Their holiest rite that they simply never miss, with their rehearsal space being their cathedral.
Thirdly, and maybe most importantly: BURNING WITCHES are living proof that it always pays off to thoroughly burn for a cause. Their cause is heavy metal. And they oh so gladly burn for it. “I simply wanted to have a band of close friends. Of people you can tell absolutely anything and you just want to spend as much time with as possible,” guitarist and founding member Romana Kalkuhl states – and there was never, is not and never will be a better reason to start a band than that! The logical consequence: Everything this inseparable girl gang does is done right. With passion and devotion. With 120 percent – on a bad day!
It wasn’t long before people began to notice this remarkable Swiss force: their eponymous demo quickly gained accolades such as “demo of the month” in major metal magazines like Metal Hammer and Rock Hard, and not long after their self-released debut they came to the attention of Nuclear Blast where they signed, without hesitation, and in 2018 released »Hexenhammer,« one of the strongest heavy metal albums of the 21st century. Period. Big was the cheer, even bigger was the fury those ladies unleashed upon the stages far and wide. A tour with GRAVE DIGGER or slots at Bang Your Head!!! or Wacken were the logical result and the icing on two absolutely insane years.
Still, resting on their laurels never was their thing, really. “We always have the urge to go on. To be on the move. We don’t just want to look back and feed upon what we already achieved. We’re hungry for more, for every new day. We want to find out how far we can take it.” And after one listen to »Dance With The Devil« we can safely assume: Far. Very, very far. Their third record is embodies the momentum of its predecessor and their countless live shows, propelling their sound onto a whole new level. The opening force of ‘Lucid Nightmare’ is accelerates at breakneck speed, riff bombardment and double-bass fire; ‘Dance With The Devil’ is a massively steel-plated stomper with bewitching melodies; the first single ‘Wings Of Steel’ sounds as massive as its name; ‘Black Magic’ could have been written by JEFFERSON AIRPLANE and the viciously thundering ‘Sea Of Lies’ simply is one of the best heavy metal songs 2020 will have to offer.
Sure enough, legends like JUDAS PRIEST and DIO remain everpresent influences in their roaring sound; yet, not least because of the timeless production courtesy of V.O. Pulver and German thrash titan Schmier (DESTRUCTION), BURNING WITCHES are above all else unleashing a trailblazing heavy metal memento for the 21st century. “Of course we listen to modern music, of course we like a lot of bands from Switzerland. It’s just that we like the UK of the seventies and eighties even more,” Romana laughs.
Rejoice, you people who consider a leather jacket to be the perfect garment for all occasions: BURNING WITCHES remain the prominent force of heavy metal. »Dance With The Devil« is a fiery metal manifesto, radiating a delight with every note and every uttered word by new vocalist Laura Guldemond. With her, the Swiss ladies hit the bullseye. Not only is she the perfect addition to their ranks personality-wise, she’s also a vocal tornado covering everything from aggressive to melodic, triumphant, seductive and menacing in a second, ultimately crowning this third album with vocal grandeur. This band never sounded so deep, so convincing, so full of energy. And yet you get the feeling that this is still only the beginning…