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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Warlock

Burning the Witches

Review by Gary Hill

In 1984 Warlock released this, their debut album. It showcased their female fronted sound. To a large degree, the sound presented here was a blueprint for the entire run of the band and for Doro's solo career. I say that because it combined the fierce metal rockers with a power-ballad. That type of balance of sounds is really what makes up Doro's catalog to this day, and it is cut from much the same cloth. I'm not saying that her work is repetitive, only that so many of the signatures present even today were already in place then. This was a strong set when released, and it still holds up well today.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 2. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Sign of Satan
Things fire out with a screaming hot and frantic metal riff. This is furious stuff that borders on thrash.
After the Bomb
There is something really special about this song. It has a unique, rather raw texture to it that serves it well. It's another fierce metal stomper overall.
Dark Fade
This is another metal screamer. It has some mean riffs and a lot of energy. It's very meaty. The instrumental break that comes in after the two-minute mark includes some particularly cool guitar work.
Homicide Rocker
Not a huge change, they don't let up on the intensity or the pace at all. Instead we get another screaming hot metal stomper. The instrumental break on this is particularly fierce.
Without You
Intricate guitar brings this in with a balladic sound. The vocals come in over the top of that arrangement. There is a lot of magic built into this thing. It powers up to more of a power ballad sound as it continues. This benefits from the variety it brings, but honestly, it's strong enough to stand tall here even without that bonus. It gets pretty potent before it's done.
Metal Racer
We're back into the fast-paced zone, but you'd expect that with a title like that, right.
Burning the Witches
There is a real classic old-school metal sound built into this thing. It's up-tempo, but not as much so as some of the rest. The riff driving it is so cool. This really is a great choice for title track because it's one of the best songs here.
Hateful Guy
With a driving energy, there are literally screaming elements here. This feels a lot like the sound of early Motley Crue. This is mean and rather catchy. The quicker, almost thrashy movement is a nice touch, too.
Holding Me
The closer comes in as a mid-tempo head-banger. It has some great hooks and riffs. I love some of the melodic guitar fills on the tune.
 
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