BURNING BLACK – MECHANICHELL (LIMB MUSIC 2009)

REVIEW BY VILLE KRANNILA / MAY 2010

At first glance one could be mistaken to believe these power metal warriors hailed from America, as the accompanying story states they are playing US Power Metal and the names of the key players certainly point to that direction. However, these guys are from Italy, where of course power metal is alive and well – even if the only band instantly coming to mind is Rhapsody. But also Eldritch, Labyrinth, Vision Divine and few others have made their mark over the years.

Formed few years ago, Burning Black released their debut album “Prisoners Of Steel” in April 2008. Originally established by guitarist John Harris and vocalist Dan Ainlay, they attracted the attention of record companies via two demos before launching a full recording career. After this they have settled on a permanent line-up, with Eric Antonello added on second guitar, AJ Simons on bass and Will Oswin on drums.

Signed now to Limb Music and delivering their second album, these guys show a huge promise. The band have already toured internationally with the likes of Circle II Circle, Primal Fear and UDO so the road has become a familiar place to them. Citing Judas Priest as their influence is also never a bad thing. While the foundation on this record covers wide spectrum of artists, Yngwie Malmsteen, Primal Fear and King Diamond at the forefront, the main foundation does seem to be classic heavy metal.

This month’s guests at the Steel Mill kick off the proceedings with a short intro “Reckoning Day,” before properly hitting the first track “Our Sentence”. Sharp bursts of power chords dominating all the way through. Next up is the title track “Mechanichell,” which reminds me a lot of the classic metal bands at the moment, Priest, Accept, Primal Fear and alike. They all rank among Burning Black’s influences so this is natural and it’s always good to hear songs like these.

Possibly my favourite track at the moment “Reborn From My Sins” begins eerily with a nice guitar riff with keyboards backing them and a piercing scream from Ainlay. The rhythm of the song works very well, being a good mid-tempo number.

The final song “Victims And Torturers” has epic sound picture – although less than five minutes long – and concludes this record nicely. It’s also heavier than a lot of other stuff gone before, guitar solo on this one impressed me a lot.

The instrumental interplay and production are on a high level throughout and I’m sure on this area there will be even more improvement in the future for these guys. Vocalist Ainlay cuts through most of the songs with his piercing wail but also seems to be right at home with more melodic cuts. Only on some of the tracks (“Messenger Of Hell”) he seems to be overdoing it a little, but I suspect most of it is down to sheer enthusiasm at work.

While there’s still a work ahead for this band, they do show a lot of promise and “Mechanichell” is a surprisingly enjoyable second effort from the band. Crank it up!

3k

burningblack_mh

1. Reckoning Day
2. Our Sentence
3. MechanicHell
4. Purgatory Child
5. Secrets To Hide
6. Reborn From My Sins
7. Hero Of The Century
8. Dangerous Game
9. Dust And Rain
10. Messengers Of Hell
11. Victims And Torturers

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About Ville Krannila