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Nervosa And Burning Witches Doubles The Metal At The Underworld, London

Photo of Nervosa

Band Photo: Nervosa (?)

Metal has come a long way when it comes to women in the genre. Where once there was hardly any women at shows or performers on stage, groundbreaking acts like Girlschool, Doro and Lita Ford gave them a voice in the field and showed that they can rock just as hard as the guys. Fast forward to 2022 and some of the best musicians and bands in metal are women, with hardly anyone batting an eye. So it was a natural choice that two of the breakout all female bands would team up at some point and treat fans to hell of a tour, which exactly what happened when the new look Nervosa paired with the Switzerland founded Burning Witches.

Having unfortunately missed the opening band and being unimpressed with Hunting Horror, we begin our review with Burning Witches. On a personal note, both bands are special to me as I was not only there for both of their British debuts (in 2015 and 2019 respectively) but also interviewed them. Three years on and both have made some big changes to their ranks, meaning this was the first time I'd seen Burning Witches with vocalist Laura Guldemond and guitarist Larissa Ernst. It's fair to say that the spirit they displayed three years ago still lives on as Burning Witches pay tribute to classic metal bands with their own brand of traditional heavy metal.

Laura Guldemond is a natural frontwoman, holding the audience in the palm of her hand and showcasing an incredible stage presence. Not that this means the rest of the band were slouches of course, working together as a well oiled machine to produce an extremely tight unit. With four albums under their belt, Burning Witches treated listeners to an almost equal share of songs from each, opening with "Executed," from their superb sophomore album, "Hexenhammer," and from there launching into songs from the Guldemond era, with "Dance With The Devil" being represented by the songs "Wings Of Steel," "Sea Of Lies" and "Lucid Nightmare," while their most recent offering, "The Witch Of The North" was represented by "Flight Of The Valkyries," "We Stand As One" and the title track. The band then capped off their performance with the title track from "Hexenhammer" before diving into their debut to finish with "Black Widow" and "Burning Witches." A fierce live performance that captures what made heavy metal so appealing to begin with, Burning Witches will be welcomed back in London with open arms any time!

Following this blistering set, we come to Nervosa, on their first tour since the former three piece lost two members and came back as a quartet. It's a little bittersweet for longtime fans to see this new incarnation, as the old lineup was such a great trio and at first, it feels like watching an entirely new band, especially as much of the setlist focused on the new album, "Perpetual Chaos." Once one gets over the weirdness though, it's plain to see that this new version of Nervosa are having a blast and with such a good album being composed together, there's definitely no need to worry about the future of the band. Vocalist Diva Satanica is right at home at the front of the stage, leading fans in choruses and easily getting them to cheer and scream.

No less than ten of the thirteen songs from "Perpetual Chaos" were brought out tonight, but fortunately it seems that the album did well enough for the crowd in the capital to know it all as there was no shortage of sing alongs. "Kings Of Domination" got the ball rolling, followed by "People Of The Abyss" and "Genocidal Command," before fans got their first look at the new lineup handling old material when they performed "Death" from their debut album, "Victim Of Yourself," with the only other song from their first outing being "Into Moshpit." "Masked Betrayer" and "Kill The Silence" were the only other old songs performed as they again focused on "Perpetual Chaos" and tracks such as "Blood Eagle," "Venomous" and "Rebel Soul," the last of which featuring a guest appearance from Laura Guldemond. To close out their set, the multinational metal militia performed the record's two singles, "Guided By Evil" and "Under Ruins," leaving fans more than happy that the latest album holds up live, that the new lineup kicks ass and that they'll all be back to see Nervosa again.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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