By Andrew Bansal
Finnish power metal group Burning Point have been around since 1997, but formed a new identity when they were joined by former Battle Beast singer Nitte Valo in 2014. The 2015 self-titled release featuring a few new tracks and re-recorded versions of older songs proved that she was just as good of a fit for Burning Point as she was for Battle Beast, if not better. And now, the band is ready to release the follow-up effort, ‘The Blaze’, the first album of all new material with Valo at the helm. It was an exciting prospect for power metal fans, and the eventual outcome does not disappoint whatsoever.
‘Master Them All’, the all-important opening track, is an instant winner, getting the listener hooked with gloriously soaring vocals, catchy riffs, well-crafted symphonic layers and the kind of fast pace that typifies traditional power metal. The first half of the album is ultra-strong with highly compelling tracks like ‘The Time Has Come’ with its distinctly discernible gallop, the beautifully melodic ‘Incarnation’ with the vocals and guitar parts shining bright, and the expertly written ballad-like compositions ‘My Spirit’ and ‘The Lie’. The power metal prowess of this six-piece unit is very much evident through these tracks, and even at its half-way point, ‘The Blaze’ can already be deemed as a gem of an album for fans of the genre.
A solid finish is imperative for an album to make an impression as a whole, and this Burning Point effort certainly does so, going from strength to strength in its second half, with faster paced tracks like ‘Dark Winged Angel’ and ‘Chaos Rising’ and slower, melodic offerings such as ‘Lost In Your Thoughts’. But, the song ‘Things That Drag Me Down’ perhaps stands out as the catchiest of them all, its chorus in particular making a long-lasting impact and remaining in memory long after the listening session. The album ends as strongly as it begins, with the scorching, fast, shred-heavy ‘The King Is Dead, Long Live The King’. But wait, there is an encore, a fantastic rendition of Lee Aaron’s ‘Metal Queen’.
Burning Point have come out all guns blazing with this flawless, all-killer, no-filler album. The songwriting is brilliant, and all six members have decorated this set of recordings with their absolute best performances, combining to create quite a monument of righteous power metal. Besides, the production is apt for this musical style, bringing out the best of this band and doing justice to the potential of every element.
Their seventh full-length, ‘The Blaze’ may well be Burning Point’s finest effort of their career thus far, but one thing is for sure, listen to this album at your own peril, because it will be stuck in your head forever.
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Record Label: AFM
US Release Date: January 20th 2017
01. Master Them All
02. Time Has Come
04. My Spirit
05. The Lie
06. Dark Winged Angel
07. Chaos Rising
08. Lost In Your Thoughts
09. Things That Drag Me Down
10. The King Is Dead, Long Live The King
11. Metal Queen (Lee Aaron cover)