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Burning Rain: Epic Obsession

With his stock at a premium through his rightly celebrated, ongoing stint with Whitesnake, 2013 feels like the perfect time for guitarist Doug Aldrich to reinvigorate his "other" band, Burning Rain. Between 1999 and 2001 Aldrich and singer Keith St. John released their first two (recently reissued) albums to great acclaim, but little commercial success with Aldrich displaying a style that illustrated his House Of Lords past and his Whitesnake future, without plagiarising either. An offer from the late, great Ronnie James Dio to join his band saw the guitarist up sticks, dousing his Burning Rain, before his undoubted talents eventually led to his current tenure with a certain Mr Coverdale. On and off over the years Doug and Keith, who has also sung with another much missed great Ronnie Montrose, reconvened to try and reignite their band, with a recent break in Whitesnake's schedule finally allowing the pair to spend enough time together to tie things up. With the long period of time between albums it is no surprise that the rest of the current band differs from the original line up, with the third instalment of the Burning Rain story, Epic Obsession, being brought to you by Aldrich, St. John, bassist Sean McNabb (Quiet Riot, Dokken, House Of Lords, Great White) and drummer Matt Starr.

There's no shock in discovering that Epic Obsession owes a debt to Whitesnake, but then the reason Coverdale chose Aldrich for his band was down to his fiery song writing skills and truth be told, considering that Aldrich is chief songsmith in both bands, if there wasn't a strong similarity, then you'd be worried. That said this isn't Forevermore again, with stronger hints of Zeppelin, Blue Murder and House Of Lords allowing Burning Rain to have their own distinct identity. Something which is hammered home by the gritty, boorish voice of St. John. The album kicks off in fine style, "Sweet Little Baby Thing" hurtling along on a killer riff and thumping stomp, before "The Cure" brings an equally confident swagger to a more Pomp inspired offering. It is a sumptuously strong start, but through the more overt fret workout of "Till You Die", blues dripping "Too Hard To Break", which is unmistakably Snake like and "Ride The Monkey" with its irresistible chorus and brutally seductive guitar motifs, there's no dip in quality. The slower numbers if anything heighten the otherwise honed brutishness, while making a strong impact on their own merits, "Made For Your Heart" and "Heaven Gets Me By" finding St. John holding court supremely, while "Our Time Is Gonna Come" combines the light and heavy sides of Burning Rain to perfection.

With the opportunity to reappraise their excellent brace of initial releases and Epic Obsession eclipsing both of those albums, the only thing holding Burning Rain back is Aldrich's understandable dedication to his "day-job" driving on one of the best known hard rock acts in the world. With such an embarrassment of riches, it must be a hard life! This is one Epic Obsession worth losing yourself in.

Track Listing
1. Sweet Little Baby Thing
2. The Cure
3. Till You Die
4. Heaven Gets Me By
5. Pray Out Loud
6. Our Time Is Gonna Come
7. Too Hard To Break
8. My Lust Your Fate
9. Made For Your Heart
10. Ride The Monkey
11. Out In The Cold Again
12. When Can I Believe In Love
13. Kashmir (bonus track)
14. Heaven Gets Me By (acoustic bonus track)

Added: May 26th 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Burning Rain Online
Hits: 3031
Language: english

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