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Buaas, Anders: The Witches Of Finnmark II

Continuing the story of his last concept album about the persecution of witches in the 16th and 17th centuries in Finnmark here is Anders Buaas' latest effort titled The Witches Of Finnmark II. I just reviewed the first part of the trilogy and was very pleasantly surprised. In the band are Anders Buaas (electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, effects), Rune Erling Pedersen (drums), Are Gogstad (bass) and Henrik Madsen (percussion).

This is an excellent follow up to the first album with Buaas’ guitar work a highlight on every track. I don’t mean that in a showoff-ish kind of way, although he can shred with the best of them. Check out parts of the wonderful “Raven” where his playing is fast and very clean. On “Letter 1609” a pulsating keyboard note and thoughtful guitar give this folky track a memorable feel. I liken his guitar work to that of David Gilmour or perhaps Mike Oldfield. The melding of acoustic and electric guitar and shifts in tempo give “The Black Cat And The King” a clean and tasty sound.

The last track is the almost nineteen minute epic “Cunningham” and is a real stunner. An intro of deep low rumbling effects certainly got my attention and then it’s time for Buaas to shine with his layered acoustic and electric playing. The band shows their creativity here thrusting heavier riffs into a crystalline soundscape. Some of the playing is really eerie adding yet another dimensional layer to what is an exceptional progressive track. The clean guitar tones, progressive metal riffs (the only real moment of heaviness on the disc) and high dramatic moments like the spine tingling guitar work to end the album makes for what is easily the best track.

This second installment might not be quite as heavy as the last disc but is in no way inferior. In fact, listening to The Witches Of Finnmark II has made me all the more looking forward to album number three. Highly recommended.

Track Listing:
1. Letter 1609 (4:08)
2. The Black Cat And The King (5:12)
3. Christmas Eve (5:20)
4. Raven (5:46)
5. Witches Return (1:47)
6. Cunningham (18:50)

Added: February 17th 2019
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist @ Bandcamp
Hits: 964
Language: english

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