Burning Point - Feeding the flames 4/5

Reviewed: 11-3-06


1. Into the fire
2. Blackened the sun
3. Veil of secrecy
4. Voice from the past
5. I am the silent one
6. Stray bullet
7. Nightgames
8. Quicker than the eye
9. Malmikivi
10. Resurrection machine
11. All the madness
12. Feeding the flames

The 2nd CD from this Finnish band is a superb example of the classic European power metal sound. While it may not offer any shockingly original elements, it also avoids treading too heavily on the cliches or derivative nature which has permeated a lot of the work in this genre and its subgenres lately.

The CD rips off in fine fashion, showing that some bands not only know how to write great songs, but know to put one of the finest uptempo moments on the CD to lead it off, with the magnificent 3 minutes of "Into the fire", probably the best on the whole CD. Past that, the CD offers a good diversity of faster songs, slower songs, and mid-paced numbers. All of them are extremely effective in their songwriting, without being over Helloweeny and having a lot of the sing-song melodies, although you hear a touch of the unique Sonata Arctica style at times, but mixed with a more traditional metal base. Despite breaking up the tempo, there's not much dead weight at all on this tightly focused CD. The lyrics are above average and completely adequate, but don't stray far from the typical metal subjects or style.

Vocalist (and guitarist) Pete Ahonen has a bit of leather in his vocals, channeling a touch of Harry Conklin and even Tony Martin and his progeny (without quite as much piercing quality or long notes) into the more typically clean vocals we hear from bands like Stratovarius. The dual guitars dish out a solid collection of great riffs and leads, again, without an overly clean sound, but with a great presence in the mix and production, that are quite entertaining.

Fans that are completely saturated or disenchanted with the traditional and power melodic European metal sound may still not be too enchanted with this release, but anyone who still holds some affection in their heart for this style will find this a thrilling example of the sound, while avoiding both the triter areas and the less inspired songwriting some of the more prominent bands in this area have been releasing as they reach their 3rd, 4th, et seq. CDs. Hopefully the bands upcoming 2006 release will be just as strong.




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