Jori : The first album by the Swiss fivesome Burning Witches definitely did the band some good. Released in the modest original amount of 666 copies by the modest label Pledge Music, this album got the band a deal with the leading label Nuclear Blast. Barely one and a half year after the release of the self-titled debut album there is now a follow-up, ‘Hexenhammer’, on which the band clearly made progress! The second album of the witches can live up to the work of other female fronted bands with balls such as Crystal Viper and Huntress!
Opening with the excellent ‘Executed’, it seems that the album has received a more melodic treatment, while it still rocks as the debut album did. Also ‘Open Your Mind’ is a very good song with a strong riff, half-insane but great vocals and a fiery guitar solo. This is heavy metal as it was meant to be! The ballad is present again in ‘Don’t Cry My Tears’, a song that sounds a lot better than the overly juicy ‘Save Me’ from the debut album. ‘Maiden Of Steel’ almost sounds autobiographic by these metal ladies. ‘Dead Ender’ is almost ‘Holy Diver’ with its riff, but to demonstrate that it is actually a different song, the band included a cover of this classic on the album. The title track is the longest song of the album with almost seven minutes, be sure to check out the video clip of this one! ‘Maneater- is the wayward almost-closing song, it even has some Mercyful Fate Elements. Almost-closer indeed, because the actual last song is the afore mentioned cover. And even though this is a respectable edition, ‘Holy Diver’ is still one of those songs you should not burn your fingers on.
Blistering riffs, eardrum-ripping vocals, and five true metal ladies who play music with balls. ‘Hexenhammer’ sees Burning Witches release a better and less cliché album than the debut, and with Nuclear Blast as label they have all possibilities to showcase this improvement to a large audience. The band will shortly embark on tour as support of Grave Digger, the band that once granted an opening slot to bands like Sabaton and Astral Doors, and we all know that was not all that bad for those bands. Will history repeat itself here?