Even by the standards that Ward XVI set with their 2017 debut album The Art Of Manipulation they forged ahead with giant steps for the follow up Metamorphosis released in 2020 on Metal Rocka Recordings and one of my major highlights from it, ‘Burn The Witch’ has recently been released as a single.
Their promotional videos have all been mind boggingly eclectic but this one is really off the scale. The vibe it creates is like being chased by a psychopath throughout its seven minute duration who is just inches away from catching you, such is the power of its disturbance but it is also enthralling. Imagine watching the scariest horror film with one eye closed and you’re halfway there.
Filmed in the Lake District, February 2021 in minus nine degree temperatures it opens eerily with Egyptian like soundscapes and creepy but also soothing vocals. It gathers power as snare drums snap with vigour until it breaks free from its shackles three minutes in when the rest of the band crash in for some atmospheric heavy metal that gets more brutal from rabid riffing and a guitar solo that’s as hot as the flames that surround them and an ambient outro gives us chance to catch our breath and marvel at what we’ve just seen and heard before reaching for the repeat play button!
Lowered lockdown restrictions have resulted in Ward XVI playing to a capacity crowd on The Sophie Lancaster Stage at Bloodstock Open Air Festival on August 11th 2021 as even more reasons to be cheerful come from plans for an upcoming tour and FINALLY the twice postponed album launch for Metamorphosis at Manchester Academy 3 on December 18th 2021. Definitely a case of third time lucky!
Band links can be found here :- http://wardxvi.com I https://www.facebook.com/WardXVI I https://wardxvi.bandcamp.com/ I https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ward+xvi+