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Jack Starr's Burning Starr: Stand Your Ground

If ever there was a case of knowing your strengths and sticking to them, then it's the latest album, Stand Your Ground, from Jack Starr's Burning Starr. With the foursome involved time served veterans with the like of Virgin Steele, Manowar, Reverence and Riot V, you already know that this is going to be good, honest, chest beating metal. And it is, although it's also a whole lot more. With Starr a renowned ripper of the roaring riff, bassist Ned Meloni and drummer Kenny 'Rhino' Earl as potent and powerful a rhythm section as you could hope to find and singer Todd Michael Hall one of the few current vocalists that make you exclaim, 'Oh! They do make them like they used to!', all that's left is for the foursome to have pieced together a collection of well written and crafted songs to make Stand Your Ground a mighty metal monster.

Well, blow me if that isn't exactly what they've gone and done. You may not be tripping over surprises, or genre pushing innovations but in truth that is the real strength of what Burning Starr do. Never as wilfully ridiculous as Manowar, or po-facedly pompous as Virgin Steele, JSBS simply get on with the job of building massively riff fuelled swipes and delivering them with a precise passion. This band are not alone in that quest, but then few can call on the services of a singer like Todd Michael Hall. With an ability to stretch his range at ease and sound aggressive without having to resort to growls, gutturals or gruffness, the vocals on this album are a stunning reminder of what we used to hope for from a top notch metal singer.

Lyrically things are equally captivating, Hall refusing to fall into the usual metal tropes, instead a positive, loosely spiritual approach allows "Stronger Than Steel" to be a metaphor driven call to be strong in the face of life's adversities, while "False Gods" warns of the dangers of misplacing your priorities. In the face of the thoroughly convincing metal onslaught brought to bare by the likes of "Secrets We Hide", "Hero" and the album's excellent, Ritchie Blackmore inspired title cut, it's a clever avoidance of cliché and stereotype. Being honest, that may not be quite so true of the music itself, all the usual touching points you'd expect from a band bringing about a heavy metal thunder firmly in place and yet if Stand Your Ground confirms one thing, then it's that when it's done well, this style of music can still be thoroughly rewarding.

Refusing to give one inch to fads or fashion, Jack Starr's Burning Starr are ready to stand their ground. Those of a metal persuasion should join them.

Track Listing
1. Secrets We Hide
2. The Enemy
3. Stand Your Ground
4. Hero
5. Destiny
6. The Sky Is Falling
7. Worlds Apart
8. Escape From The Night
9. We Are One
10. Stronger Than Steel
11. False Gods
12. To The Ends

Added: August 24th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Jack Starr's Burning Starr on Facebook
Hits: 1860
Language: english

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Jack Starr's Burning Starr: Stand Your Ground
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2017-08-24 09:34:57
My Score:

They had me at the cover art...seriously, any fan of classic Frank Frizetta artwork will need to feast their eyes on this beauty. Once past that, Stand Your Ground reveals its musical might, the veteran Jack Starr once again proving that he has plenty of tricks up his classic & power metal sleeve. The legendary axe-man fires off an abundance of massive riffs & blazing solos throughout this album, with vocalist Todd Michael Hall never taking a back seat and keeping up with his soaring pipes every step of the way. "Secrets We Hide", the epic title track, the anthemic "Destiny", the first pumping "Stronger Than Steel", and the dramatic "Escape From the Night" are just a few of the highlights from an album chock full of them.

High Roller Records has a real winner here, easily one of the strongest releases this band has ever delivered, and one that deserves to be heard by the metal masses the world over. Well done!

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