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Burning Point - Blaze

Burning Point
Blaze
by Jose Macall at 07 March 2017, 12:52 AM

As they are a band that already references fire and flames so often, I feel it’s not in my best interest to note that “Blaze” by BURNING POINT is hot stuff. Ok, I got it out of my system, let’s get down to business. I took a guess that this was going to be Power Metal before I even heard it. Something about the iron-plating font and sort of medieval fantasy cover (as well as the little hawk or falcon or whatever it is, Power Metal bands love birds of prey) gave me an inkling that this was going to lean more towards a PRIMAL FEAR than slamming Death Metal or anything of the sort. Call it predictable, call it smart marketing, I personally looked forward to discovering if I was right.

Bullseye, called it. This is text book denim-jacket-wearing, fist-raising Power Metal. You’ll get all the hits you remember:  choruses that suck you into singing along, crystal clear production values, wailing of every variety! Get ready for slick solos and raging riffs because BURNING POINT takes a page from the masters. If there’s one thing that’s fundamental in Power Metal, it’s the leads. To me, a good solo in Power Metal is like the point on the edge of a sword. Sure it’s not the only way to kill, but it’s definitely a more dramatic way to slay. Solos in Power Metal need to run you through, they should be sharp and played with deadly precision. It’s the main part I look forward to in this genre. In this case the strings are like a singing sword. The solos are great. I wish they were longer and maybe a little more intricate but they fit the songs perfectly.

The album opens incredibly strong with a trio of fast songs, my favorite one was “Incarnation” which wrecks on an almost Thrash NWOBHM-style level. After a strong open, we get a different taste in tone with what I felt was more of a Power Rock anthem called “My Spirit” a slower fist pumping ballad that manages to sound like something you would hear over a montage of someone lifting weights and practicing martial arts in an 80’s action flick as they prepare to get vengeance. BURNING POINT actually manages to run through a whole spectrum of tones to their songs. There’s variety here and it keeps the album from becoming boring. Nothing feels too long. No block of the album keeps the same mood or tempo. The band has a female vocalist but I felt like there was definitely more room for her to be used, unlike more extreme styles of metal, a higher pitched softer voice actually fits the feel of the music. “Lost in Your Thoughts” was a song that exhibited this.

Fans of Power Metal will be in for a nice addition. This is an album that continues the traditions set by the forerunners. Though I’m not primarily a Power Metal guy I managed to enjoy the catchiness and enthusiasm this band displays throughout. There’s enough solid song writing here keep listeners engaged. The guitarist shreds, the vocalist wails away with a bellowing falsetto and the female vocals definitely added to the overall tone of the band. The drumming is on point (time?), the bass is rumbling, there’s keyboards but they aren’t used in excess. There’s a lot of melody on display throughout the album, it’s very easy on the ears.

I get that Power Metal can be viewed as corny by certain elements in the metal. In the cafeteria that is the Heavy Metal community, the Power Metal folks are the upper classmen that get a pass because of what they did, even if the new generation doesn’t always get it. They’re the old timers; we’d be nowhere close to where we are if it wasn’t for bands like IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST and DIO and MANOWAR, etc. and the work they did that set the groundwork for all the incredible metal we’ve got today. For everything you can make fun of Power Metal about, you can say just as much about Black Metal or Grind or whatever. This is not an album that will sell you if you don’t already love Power Metal, but if you’re a fan I’d say at least humor it with a listen. I’m sure you’ll be sold on the ride by the time “Incarnation” is done like I was. Hail BURNING POINT!

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 6
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Master Them All
2. Time Has Come
3. Incarnation
4. My Spirit
5. The Lie
6. Dark Winged Angel
7. Chaos Rising
8. Lost in Your Thoughts
9. Things That Drag Me Down
10. The King Is Dead, Long Live the King
11. Metal Queen (Lee Aaron cover)
Lineup:
Nitte Valo - Vocals
Pete Ahonen - Guitars
Pekka Kolivuori - Guitars
Sammy Nyman - Bass
Jarkko Väisänen - Keyboards
Jussi Ontero - Drums
Record Label: AFM Records
     


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Edited 19 November 2019
 

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