Founded 20 years ago in Oulu Finland, Burning Point is back for their 7th studio release — The Blaze on AFM Records. This was released in Europe November 2016 but not in North America until January 20th, 2017.
Pete Ahonen – Guitars, is the only original member of the band. In 2015 he passed the microphone to Nitte Valo formerly of Battle Beast. The Blaze will be Valo‘s second album appearance with Burning Point. Also on guitars is Pekka Kolivuori, bass – Sammy Nyman, keyboards – Jarkko Vaisanen, and on drums – Jussi Ontero.
Not being familiar with Burning Point but a fan of Battle Beast, I was looking forward to cranking up The Blaze.
The album starts off with “Master Them All“. Fast European speed metal with a female vocalist has me interested. Very similar to what Valo did with Battle Beast but faster guitars.
“Incarnation” is a great rock song with a heavy guitar solo. One of my favorite songs on the album.
“My Spirit” is a slower track which has brought a wonderful fitting change. Staying with the same pace “The Lie”, starts off slower and leads up to a beautiful chorus. These 2 tracks really show the versatility of the band.
“Dark Winged Angel” has a middle eastern feel throughout the song and Valo shows her different vocal levels. This could be one of their best-written songs. These last few tracks have me committed to checking out their past albums.
Back to the fast paced guitars in “Chaos Rising“. Valo‘s higher pitch vocals come out flying. Things slow down in the middle of the track before heading into the electrifying guitar solo.
“Lost In Your Thoughts” is about the struggles in your mind. With some great riffs, the track takes you on a journey, slowing it down before showcasing the talent this band has on guitars during the solo. Well written work of art and a great song.
“Things That Drag Me Down” showcases Burning Point as a band that is synced together. From the musicality, backing vocals, and Valo‘s emotion, she sucks the audience into her captivating vocals. Another great song with lots of texture.
The album finishes on a very high note. Doing a cover of my fellow Canadian Lee Aaron – “Metal Queen“. I love the original, and Burning Point does an amazing version keeping to the aspect of the original. I am sure Lee Aaron would be proud of this cover.
Overall, this is a great release and I look forward to reaching into Burning Point‘s discography hoping I find more albums like this. My taste leans towards the less speed metal tracks on the album but there are lots of flavors throughout The Blaze that has me playing it over and over.
Shawn “Animalize” Irwin