AFM Records [Release date: 22.10.21]
Finnish band, Burning Point have never found their way into the vanguard of European Power Metal. To their credit, despite being handicapped by lacklustre albums and personnel changes, they’ve kept moving forward.
Now, five years after their 8th album, ‘The Blaze’, guitarist and mainman Pete Ahonen has brought in talented Italian vocalist, Luca Sturniolo for new release, ‘Arsonist Of The Soul’.
The “rising from the ashes” allusion is not lost on us. We get the message. They’ve remembered that the first brick in the wall is the songwriting. Get that wrong and the whole edifice can easily come tumbling down. Get it right and at minimum you can build a solid, satisfying structure.
The band perform with purpose and pace. The metal has a heartbeat. It’s powerful and it’s exciting. ‘Rules The Universe’ and ‘Hit The Night’ show this best. These two, in common with many tracks here, have a rhythmic pulse, each chorus a glorious Power Metal rush.
On key tracks, ‘Out Of Control’ and ‘Persona Non Grata’, the dynamics are more assured, and only occasionally is the crunch of a chorus undercut by the propulsion of Ahonen’s guitar.
The smouldering ‘Calling’, and the surging ‘Fire With Fire’ make great use of of Sturniolo’s double tracked vocals, burning each anthemic hook into our subconscious like a branding iron. Arguably the album’s standout tracks.
Burning Point are a band who don’t aim to bludgeon you into submission. They make compelling, hard nosed arguments with their alternately brooding and aggressive metal music, and they insist that you listen. Doesn’t work every time, but often enough to win new fans. ***1/2
Review by Brian McGowan
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