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Burning Black - Prisoners Of Steel (CD)

Burning Black
Prisoners Of Steel
by Grigoris Chronis at 26 April 2008, 2:53 PM

BURNING BLACK's music is based on the 80s Heavy Metal patterns. And this is 'new' news? Yes, it may be, since most bands I come across lately tend to flirt with the 'epic' or 'thrash' side of retro Metal, while this notable Italian quintet deals mostly with the Metal 'spine'; no sub-genre label required. And, bear in mind, Prisoners Of Steel (the band's debut full-length album) is a very very very good release!
If you take a look at the members' individual pages at BURNING BLACK's official site, you can draw your own conclusions only from the bands/artists mentioned over there: JUDAS PRIEST, SAXON, IRON MAIDEN, MOTORHEAD, ACCEPT, CRIMSON GLORY, MALICE, AC/DC, MANOWAR, SLAYER, QUEEN. The good thing is BURNING BLACK do not fall into the 'copy/paste' trap, resulting in an 'imitators' undesired effect. Hence, in a set of 11 top-notch tracks you will hear stuff that sounds similar to many post-80s acts, like MORGANA LEFAY, ANGRA, (early) STRATOVARIUS, PRIMAL FEAR, (post-80s) JAG PANZER or SYMPHONY X.
The lethal weapon hitting in front is the guitars' work. The riffs flow endlessly; they are sharp and 100% 'metallic'. The solos are rather remarkable, with the Mark/Gio due re-presenting all the six-string-double-attack ideals developed in the 80s. The rhythm section is simple enough, and no one would ask for something more. Max's vocal presence, not to forget, is rather 'true', even if his skills are not 1st class; nonetheless he's genuinely a 'heavy' frontman with enough of dramatic singing when it comes to specific bridge/pre-chorus parts.
The songwriting itself is very good and 'classic': based on the guitars' work, a relative formula is preserved throughout the whole album. No back vocals are used, letting Max pointing his view on-the-spot plus the duration of the tracks (resulting in the CD's total duration, too) safeguard the listener's interest. No tune did I put on top, since there's equal energy in all songs.
An amalgam of German/Scandinavian/British/US Metal with homage/respect to the 80s, is Prisoners Of Steel. On second thought, BURNING BLACK reminded me of fellow Italian 80s legends CRYING STEEL, at times (and a little tiny bit of DEATH SS). Bearing in mind CRYING STEEL recently hit back with The Steel Is Back! (2007), I'd die to see an insurrection of Italian 'simply Heavy' Metal bands taking place in the end of this deacde. Not that the power/epic/prog/extreme Metal offerings from this adored country are of limited quality, but (as Greek metallers MARAUDER have stated since 1997) for us Metal is enough!

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Hell Is Now
Angel Of War
Angry Machine…Of Love
Smell The Fire
Fight To Dream
No More Heroes
Heavy Metal
Life Passengers
Without Waiting…
…Without Fear
Prisoners Of Steel
Lineup:
Mark - Guitars
AJ - Bass
Max - Vocals
Luca - Drums
Gio - Guitars
Record Label: Sweet Poison Records
     


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