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Buaas, Anders: The Witches of Finnmark

Anders Buaas was born in Larvik, Norway. His musical career was given considerable heft when he was the touring guitarist for Blaze Bailey (Iron Maiden) and Tim Ripper Owens (Judas Priest). The guitarist eventually decided to go out on his own forming The Witches of Finnmark project, a musical trilogy of which two are completed.

You know the old saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, it applies to music as well. The artwork for this first installment is quite disturbing which is also appropriate given the occult subject matter of the prosecution of Finnmark witches during the 16th and 17th centuries. One might induce this would be a very heavy affair but alas this is not the case, although there are moments of heavy rock and metal. It’s just more nuanced than your basic metal album and I am really enjoying it beginning with the first track “Mystic Mist”. A heavy bass keyboard note repeats as clearly struck guitar notes provide clarity. Background keyboards and a slow guitar riff can be heard building ever so slowly. It’s a nuanced, ambient instrumental sound that is mellow yet never boring. The title track is the disc’s longest at over nine minutes. The track navigates between acoustic folky touches and more intense rock. Great riff progressions and a somber melody with depth and feeling. This one certainly invokes the sounds of Northern Europe with perhaps a touch of Arabic as well. The guitar work is worth the price of admission blending folk, metal and prog sounds. More tasty guitar can be heard on “Gand” morphing between classical and electric tones. The band is able to create a foreboding feel with its darker background textures. Buaas’ guitar also shines on “Bitter Winds” running the gamut from slow to fast to light to heavy with an amazingly clean tone. This guy is just a great player.

Really, there is not much more to say. Although there are only six tracks and roughly thirty-three minutes of music don’t let that deter you from seeking this out. I think any progressive rock fan with a bent towards a more melancholy sound will find much to like. Guitar fans, what are you waiting for?

Track Listing:
1. Mystic Mist
2. The Witches of Finnmark
3. Gand
4. Bitter Winds
5. Rise
6. Til Ungdommen

Added: February 13th 2019
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist @ Bandcamp
Hits: 619
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Buaas, Anders: The Witches of Finnmark
Posted by Anders Buaas on 2019-03-11 09:04:01
My Score:

Thanks for a great review!
Note, I toured with Paul DiAnno for several years (not Blaze).
:-) Cheers!

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