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Burning Point - Arsonist of the Soul

Burning Point
Arsonist of the Soul
by Ian Yera at 01 January 2022, 5:59 PM

Alright so we have some Finnish power metal, this should be right up my alley right? Actually Finnish power metal is usually enough of a descriptor to get me to purchase an album, though in this case, I don’t know how badly I want a physical copy. Burning Point’s Arsonist of the Soul is a solid album and I’m sure for most Power/Heavy Metal fans this will seem great, so if you like your power metal to be more guitar oriented and generally stripped down, this will definitely satisfy you. If you are like me and usually crave more complexity to your power metal this album will probably leave you somewhat dissatisfied.

So first of all let’s talk about the sound. The guitars sound great, there’s enough oomph behind them to give the riffs the impact they should have, and the barebones arrangements give the guitars plenty of room to shine. Right away with Blast in the Past we get an idea of the role the guitars are going to play, they fill in all the harmonies, and fill in that emptiness lurking underneath. Blast in the Past and Rules the Universe are two of the most classic european power metal songs on the album, with blazing sixteenth notes keeping the energy going and really embracing that classic scandinavian Power Metal style of choruses.Unfortunately after those two songs we are left with much more of a mixed bag. See, even though I very much enjoyed the first two songs, there was still something bothering me. Despite me comparing this to scandinavian power metal, it really has more in common with US Power Metal, despite actually having a keyboard player. Once I got to Out of Control I realized what I don’t like about this album. When the music is faster and all the empty space is filled in with that wall of noise, it’s harder to notice, but when we get to the mid tempo tracks I realized there’s just nothing underneath. There’s so much emptiness in the arrangements that if the guitars aren’t riffing there’s nothing else during the verses to keep me engaged. Again, I was told there is a dedicated keyboard player and if so I can barely hear them, other than some background synth stuff that’s trying to fill in that emptiness and miserably failing. The chord changes are absolutely nothing to write home about, in fact I’d call the chord choices on this album incredibly bland and so I say once again, when the music is slower these guys are incredibly boring.

For three songs in a row we get bland and boring mid tempo “power metal” that just does nothing for me. If you enjoy stuff like NORTHTALE (with even less keyboards) then I think you’ll like this more. Then we get Hit the Night which has a lot more going on and besides keeping up the tempo, the drums get more intricate patterns to utilize. Speaking of which, I should comment; Tuomas Jaatinen the drummer is unquestionably a very talented drummer. I can tell because even when the music doesn’t seem to want to give him much to do, he seems to find ways of keeping most of the rhythm section interesting. I should know, I’ve played with drummers who can just barely keep up and ones who know how to fill in the blank spaces with their creativity. Then the album just rubber bands back and forth with decent speedy tracks and utterly uninteresting mid tempo drivel. In the end I probably enjoyed exactly 6 out of the 12 tracks on this album; yeah that sounds about right. The real problem I have when trying to judge this as a whole album is that I have to take into account how the faster tracks really cover up a lot of this band’s songwriting deficiencies and even though I like the actual power metal tracks, they’re still not amazing, just solid. Oftentimes a really good vocalist can help cover up those deficiencies even more, but Sterniolo is just fine. He’s not bad, but there are moments where I found his voice somewhat grating and go figure it was mostly on the songs I didn’t like.

I know everyone has their own personal definition of what constitutes generic, but to me this is the definition of generic. Not bad enough to be egregious, but not good enough to really stand out. I do like the sound of the guitars and like I said the drum parts are actually somewhat interesting, but everything else about this album screams to me “these guys need to listen to more varieties of metal”. This is just such typical heavy/power metal, there’s no boundary pushing or even a personal gimmick, this is just such bland and unexciting Power Metal that personally I wouldn’t recommend it to my friends.

Alright so we have some Finnish power metal, this should be right up my alley right? Actually Finnish power metal is usually enough of a descriptor to get me to purchase an album, though in this case, I don’t know how badly I want a physical copy. Burning Point’s Arsonist of the Soul is a solid album and I’m sure for most Power/Heavy Metal fans this will seem great, so if you like your power metal to be more guitar oriented and generally stripped down, this will definitely satisfy you. If you are like me and usually crave more complexity to your power metal this album will probably leave you somewhat dissatisfied.

So first of all let’s talk about the sound. The guitars sound great, there’s enough oomph behind them to give the riffs the impact they should have, and the barebones arrangements give the guitars plenty of room to shine. Right away with Blast in the Past we get an idea of the role the guitars are going to play, they fill in all the harmonies, and fill in that emptiness lurking underneath. Blast in the Past and Rules the Universe are two of the most classic european power metal songs on the album, with blazing sixteenth notes keeping the energy going and really embracing that classic scandinavian Power Metal style of choruses.Unfortunately after those two songs we are left with much more of a mixed bag. See, even though I very much enjoyed the first two songs, there was still something bothering me. Despite me comparing this to scandinavian power metal, it really has more in common with US Power Metal, despite actually having a keyboard player. Once I got to Out of Control I realized what I don’t like about this album. When the music is faster and all the empty space is filled in with that wall of noise, it’s harder to notice, but when we get to the mid tempo tracks I realized there’s just nothing underneath. There’s so much emptiness in the arrangements that if the guitars aren’t riffing there’s nothing else during the verses to keep me engaged. Again, I was told there is a dedicated keyboard player and if so I can barely hear them, other than some background synth stuff that’s trying to fill in that emptiness and miserably failing. The chord changes are absolutely nothing to write home about, in fact I’d call the chord choices on this album incredibly bland and so I say once again, when the music is slower these guys are incredibly boring.

For three songs in a row we get bland and boring mid tempo “power metal” that just does nothing for me. If you enjoy stuff like NORTHTALE (with even less keyboards) then I think you’ll like this more. Then we get Hit the Night which has a lot more going on and besides keeping up the tempo, the drums get more intricate patterns to utilize. Speaking of which, I should comment; Tuomas Jaatinen the drummer is unquestionably a very talented drummer. I can tell because even when the music doesn’t seem to want to give him much to do, he seems to find ways of keeping most of the rhythm section interesting. I should know, I’ve played with drummers who can just barely keep up and ones who know how to fill in the blank spaces with their creativity. Then the album just rubber bands back and forth with decent speedy tracks and utterly uninteresting mid tempo drivel. In the end I probably enjoyed exactly 6 out of the 12 tracks on this album; yeah that sounds about right. The real problem I have when trying to judge this as a whole album is that I have to take into account how the faster tracks really cover up a lot of this band’s songwriting deficiencies and even though I like the actual power metal tracks, they’re still not amazing, just solid. Oftentimes a really good vocalist can help cover up those deficiencies even more, but Sterniolo is just fine. He’s not bad, but there are moments where I found his voice somewhat grating and go figure it was mostly on the songs I didn’t like.

I know everyone has their own personal definition of what constitutes generic, but to me this is the definition of generic. Not bad enough to be egregious, but not good enough to really stand out. I do like the sound of the guitars and like I said the drum parts are actually somewhat interesting, but everything else about this album screams to me “these guys need to listen to more varieties of metal”. This is just such typical heavy/power metal, there’s no boundary pushing or even a personal gimmick, this is just such bland and unexciting Power Metal that personally I wouldn’t recommend it to my friends.

Songwriting: 4/10
Musicianship: 7/10
Memoribility: 6/10
Production: 7/10

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Blast in the Past
2. Rules the Universe
3. Out of Control (Savage Animals)
4. Persona Non Grata
5. Arsonist of the Soul
6. Hit the Night
7. Running in the Darkness
8. Calling
9. Off the Radar
10. Fire with Fire
11. Will I Rise With the Sun
12. Eternal Life
Lineup:
Pete Ahonen - Guitars, Vocals
Pekka Kolivuori - Guitars
Jarkko Poussu - Bass
Tuomas Jaatinen - Drums
Luca Sturniolo - Vocals
Matti Halonen - Keyboards
Record Label: AFM Records
     


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