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On disc: Burning Point

Burned Down The Enemy - Vinay Mulukutla - 8 stars
Empyre - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
The Ignitor - Lars Bjørn - 9 stars

The Ignitor

The Ignitor
(Scarlet Records - 2012)

Burning Point is back with their brand new album called The Ignitor. The metal tradition that has been built up in Finland continues brilliantly in form of Burning Point, vocalist Pete Ahonen sets the same standards of performance as other Nordic singers, Joakim Cans, Jørn etc. Even the music is built in the same great way that bands from other Nordic countries are doing, Hammerfall, Europe etc. Burning Point is releasing their 5th album, and do it in a safe and secure way, no 'strange or risky' ideas, but mainstream heavy power metal with a taste of much more.

Genuine teamwork is behind the songs, and starts out with Eternal Flame, typical Nordic metal with melodic creative work, very tight guitar and drums makes the perfect frame for Pete Ahonen and this great voice of his. In The Night increases the raw power, still melodic but with a tighter grip of both speed and intensity. The Ignitor names the title of the album, and serves a good dose of power metal where all ingredients of high class power metal are included, guitar riffs from burning melting pots, drums torn to pieces and Ahonen to secure that the fist is hammered to the right spot. Silent Scream could indicate a quiet song, but it is still tight as hell, slow and simple as it is but still worth a high metal value. Everdream shows that Burning Point also masters the hard pressure in the songs to create a raw and mean atmosphere. Holier Than Thou ends the fantastic show and makes it even more intense than it ever was before. There is a good deal of inspiration from Ronnie James Dio included on this last song, powerful and elegant, Ahonen is fully fit to make a vocal performance that is not putting shame on Dio, but provides glory to the Burning Point metal heroes who are bound to get success with an album like this.

9 stars

Lars Bjørn



(Metal Heaven - 2009)

The Finnish band Burning Point is celebrating their 10th anniversary and present their 4th studio album called Empyre now. The fivesome has been through some changes through the years, but what haven't changed is their passion for power metal!

They kick off with an intro based on The Godfather Theme! And head into the title track Empyre with heavy riffs and fast drumming accompanied by Pasi Hitula's keyboard. They change speed and when Pete Ahonen joins in the songs gets something majestic... The refrain is catchy and make me think of Virgin Steele... Anyway, cool tune! Musically they are based in 80's heavy metal, but they manage to make it sound fresh and up-to-date. A heavy rocker with groove is Manic Merry-Go-Round. The guitar-driven track offers heavy drumming, melodic guitar leads and powerful vocals - what more can you ask for? Okay, they don't present anything brand-new, but the album is fun. So what? The fast riff-based Face The Truth is a Judas Priest-like rocker and with Fool's Parade they offer a heavy track with crunchy riffs and epic vocals. More mid-paced, but with an anthem-like refrain.... Live this one will rock the house! A heavy, but melancholy tune is Was It Me. Very powerful, but also moving. a power metal hymn with fast drumming and staccato riffs is Sacrifice. After the powerful, but slow Cruel World they speed up again and present the fast, guitar-driven Blinded By The Darkness. The last one is Only The Wrong Will Survive, a catchy mid-paced rocker. Live the new songs will rock, so keep your eyes open!

The songs can shine through a powerful and crystal clear production and I think the mastering at Finnvox just make it shine more. The cover looks really cool, another great one of Felipe Machado Franco. With Empyre you get a great package! Cool songs, good performance, powerful production - and if you get the limited edition, you get 3 cool covers with some cool guests! So, don't wait too long!

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


Burned Down The Enemy

Burned Down The Enemy
(Metal Heaven - 2007)

Four years after 2003's excellent Feeding The Flames detonated its own rites of inferno within the metal world with it's onslaught of power metal intricacy as well as it's abrasive thrash metal incisiveness, the Finnish power metaller's next outing has been a long time coming and there were moments where even I questioned whether Burning Point were still active. Enter 2007's Burned Down The Enemy. Although this album still retains a lot of the original metal elements and hallmarks that made Burning Point who they are in the vast domain of power metal, this is a new Burning Point, not least because there is an almost brand new line-up (with the exception of vocalist, lead guitarist and band leader Pete Ahonen who seems to be the only original member remaining as well as original drummer Jari Kaiponen providing the rhythms on some of the tracks.), but I feel that they are taking on a new sound as well.

Although still a very strong and aggressive power metal album, I can't help but notice overall that they are heading into the territory of a more melodic metal realm, whilst at the same time still trying to retain the awesome speed and aggression that they brought into the fold when they first started out. It is certainly a more varied album that places equal footing in heavy metal and power metal, as opposed to the first two albums (2001's Salvation By Fire and the aforementioned Feeding The Flames) which were very angry documents of power thrash metal.

From the opening neoclassical shred intro, the album starts burning away with Parasite and it isn't long before it launches into an bitter and insanely double bass power metal assault complete with hyperspeed riffage and later well defined neoclassical shredding (proving that Pete Ahonen has flawless technique in shred guitar. His use of sweep picking is almost impossible to ignore!). Tracks of a similar nature include Hell Awaits, Deceiver (this is very reminiscent of Yngwie Malmsteen during the Odyssey album era with its use of keyboards as well as rapid fire riffage and be honest, it wouldn't be completely incorrect to categorize this album as neo-classical power metal, but I feel that there is so much more to it than that.), To Hell And Back and of course the blistering title track. All of these are reminiscent of the old Burning Point. It is also obvious that there is a dominant Yngwie Malmsteen influence throughout this album as well as more classic metal influences (I can feel a lot of Accept, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath in there).

For me personally, the second track, Heart Of Gold is something new. I cannot help but notice that this track on this album is a cornerstone of melodic metal with greater use of keyboards as well as a light and shade style, not to mention Ahonen's vocals are a bit less angry. Come the chorus and it suddenly builds into something pretty grandiose. The same can be said about Against The Madness Of Time although much heavier.

Another one of the heavier tracks on the album, with the exception of the faster tracks is the bludgeoning and marching groove of Dawn Of The Ancient War. If you ask me, it reminds me very much of a classic Manowar, Manowar minus the cheese instead being about serious business. The fighting emotion is just livid! Although also one of the slower tracks of the album, it should never be ignored as far as its metallic rigidity is concerned. It also happens to have one of the most impressive guitar solos by Ahonen within its depth as well.

From the Beginning Of It All and Icebound is living, breathing proof that there is room for metal power ballads, even on an aggressive power metal album, definitely one of the finest written and recorded, reminding me of Veil Of Secrecy (from the Feeding The Flames album).

Although I was hoping for a very intensive power metal album initially, I can find little reason why this album wouldn't fare well with Burning Point fans (who haven't been exposed to it yet) and I guess fans of power metal as well as old school heavy metal aficionados in general will also find a lot to enjoy (and headbang!) to as well. It is fast, heavy, melodic and of course old school.

8 stars

Vinay Mulukutla

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