Wednesday, May 12th, 2021
In spring 2015 in Brugg, Switzerland, guitarist Romana Kalkuhl forms the group Burning Witches out of her desire to be in all women metal band. After several releases and lineup changes the band from Brugg is ready to explode on the worldwide metal scene with their much anticpated 5th release “The Witch of the North”, by far the groups finest work to date. Lead singer Laura Guldemond and Bassist Jeanine Grob talk with Jacqui Raven about the new release “The Witch of the North”, a dual Judas Priest style guitar attack with mulit-layered vocals remenicent
of Mercyful Fate and King Diamond. Review: The Witch of the North is the 4th full-length release from the band from Brugg, Switzerland. This is a band you need to be paying attention to in 2021 and beyond.
Where did the name of the album come from?
BURNING WITCHES: Actually, I was trying out some new riffs and stuff for the album we wanted to write, and then it sounded really Nord-ish. We kind of came up with “Witches of The North” because of that.
They basically showed me the song. They were like, hey, Laura write something. It has to be “The Witch of the North. So that’s what I did. I mean, I researched a lot, like what should I do? But it’s really just crazy stories basically, which people believe or once believed, right? So, I thought it was really cool to write, to take that as an inspiration. That’s why you see so much of that now throughout the album. It’s like kind of a theme.
At first I didnt know what to write about when they were starting think about “The Witch of the North.” I was like, what are we talking about? Druids? LOL. In my research I found that this certain goddess of love and war, named Frigg from Norse mythology, gave witches the power to see into the future, which I thought was cool.
This is a little bit heavier than your early work. Did you guys set out to make a heavier record or was it something organic?
BURNING WITCHES: We loved the heavier songs on “Dance with the Devil” so we kind of leaned in that direction. It wasn’t a choice we made. It was something that just happened. We played a little more laid back too and that made it sound a little heavier. To us is feels like a soundtrack to a movie with a big intro and outro.
Few bands in recent memory have established themselves as quickly as BURNING WITCHES, and few are able to write such timeless, grand tunes with somnambulistic ease; carrying Judas Priest in their hearts without becoming overly nostalgic, whilst rapidly developing their own unique voice. "We’re not really into bigger experiments," confesses guitarist and main songwriter Romana. "We’re all burning for classic metal like Maiden, Priest and Slayer. For me nothing’s better than this kind of music, so Burning Witches will always stay true to themselves."
Now, the Witches opened a particularly gripping page in their grimoire: an album forged in the fires of a pandemic, created with patience, finesse and pitch-black lifeblood during a time in which even the Swiss/Dutch coven had to retreat into the isolation and quietness of the dark woods. Right there they hatched new spells and new ways of weaving their potent magic into the world. For Freya, for the druidesses, for the witches as past, present and future.
Several recording sessions with Swiss metal legend V.O. Pulver and their producer, thrash titan Schmier (Destruction), at the end of 2020, enabled this foremost incarnation of the band to take their explosive heavy metal to new heights. With "Circle Of Five," "We Stand As One" or the title track there’s an ample amount of rousing, blistering hymns; but for BURNING WITCHES – and you can call that old fashioned if you like – it’s the album that counts, from its intro up to the concluding cover song.
Speaking of cover songs: after "Holy Diver" and "Battle Hymn" this time sees "Hall Of The Mountain King" by the mighty Savatage – including guest solos by Chris Caffery – what a choice, what a rendition!
The Witch Of The Northsounds unleashed and completely rounded. We’re looking at five pure musicians that have sought and finally found each other.
Read MORE in the new issue of TOTAL ORDER!
Coming May 11th