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Badd Kharma - On Fire Award winner

Badd Kharma
On Fire
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 11 March 2020, 6:35 AM

AOR was a commercially successful musical genre from the second half of the 70’s until the beginning of the 90’s, when (along with Glam Metal) it was cast out from parades due the Grunge Rock/Alternative Rock invasion that came from Seattle. Names as JOURNEY, FOREIGNER, NIGHT RANGER and many others influenced musicians from many different countries, and besides it’s always from USA parades, it found a fertile soil to breed on Europe. And from Greece (an unexpected country for the genre due Hellenic tradition into extreme Metal genres) comes BADD KHARMA, a sextet that does something really great on “On Fire”.

They mix the same elements from AOR/Hard Rock from the past with some traces of traditional Heavy Metal and Power Metal (as can be heard on the guitars playing, something that AOR isn’t about due its main focus on keyboards), but the melodic hooks, the charming choruses, the great keyboards parts and everything else is presented on each song, adorned by the band’s personality. And the result is something catchy, tender, but different from what already exists. Christian Schmid and R. D. Liapakis worked on mixing and mastering of “On Fire” at the Prophecy Studios (Germany). The result is something that sounds silk and tender due the melodic insight of the band, but with an unexpected aggressiveness due the evident weight of the guitars. So everything can be heard perfectly, with a good balance between clarity and weight. It’s not perfect, but it’s almost there.

All the songs of “On Fire” are really excellent, ready to enchant the listeners by the ears. But the melodic grasp imposed by “Never Surrender” (very good vocals and guitars are presented on this one, along with a very good chorus) and “Land of the Free” (another excellent chorus, and the vocals are perfect laid upon the instrumental parts), the Power Metal notable weight presented on “Still Our Man” (a solid work on bass guitar and drums can be heard) and “Rise or Fall”, the classic Melodic Rock song heard on “Light in the Dark” (charming keyboards in some moments), the amazing energy that flows from “Burning Heart”, and the charming weaving harmonies that were built for “Lost in Her Eyes” are their finest shots. And on the Japanese version, two bonuses: “Living Inside a Dream” and “I Walk Alone”, both excellent songs as well.

Ok, putting the things in a simple way: if “On Fire” is just their first album, if BADD KHARMA evolves a bit more, will be a great name of the genre for sure, because their talent is amazing!

Musicianship: 9
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Never Surrender
2. Land of the Free
3. Devil in You
4. Still Our Man
5. Rise or Fall
6. On the Edge
7. Light in the Dark
8. Break Free
9. Fools Parade
10. Burning Heart
11. Lost in Her Eyes
12. Unbroken
13. L.E.A.
Nikos Syrakos - Vocals
Gregory Giarelis - Guitars
Manolis Tsigkos - Guitars
Dimitris Marinis - Keyboards
Tasos Ioannidis - Bass
George Papazoglou - Drums
Record Label: ROAR! Rock of Angels


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