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Burning Point: Empyre

Finnish five piece Burning Point return with their fourth album and this could be the one that propels them onto bigger and better things even in the overcrowded and fiercely competitive genre of European power metal.

The blueprint here is one of taking influences from the usual 80's suspects (Priest, Maiden, Manowar) and combining them with scorching solos, thumping rhythms and anthemic choruses. After an intricate instrumental opening ('The Godfather Theme') the title track explodes into a blistering, fist pumping rocker that simply oozes class. Frontman Pete Ahonen is clearly a vocalist of considerable ability and he shines throughout. 'Manic Merry Go-Round' continues in a similar style before they add another dimension with the hard-edged and furious 'Face The Truth'. The mid-tempo 'Fools Parade' is an altogether more considered number; a modern metal anthem to be cherished with the twin guitar riffs of Ahonen and Pekka Kolivuori ringing out loud and clear. The sweeping 'Was It Me' is the obligatory mid album ballad that demonstrates Ahonen is equally adept at tackling a slower number with a delivery both sincere and emotional.

An acoustic intro to 'Walls of Stone' gives way to a storming rocker with a pounding rhythm supplied by drummer Jussi Ontero and bassist Jukka Jokikokko and again the guitar solo is straight out of the top drawer. Even if 'Sacrifice' doesn't quite keep the momentum going the quality is soon restored with the dramatic 'Cruel World'. Pasi Hitula's keyboards are used to embellish throughout and this is highlighted on the melody enriched 'Blinded By The Darkness'. Closing track 'Only The Wrong Will Survive' is another winner and a final thumbs up is awarded to the artwork by Marchado Franco who has previously contributed covers for Iced Earth, Axel Rudi Pell and Blaze Bayley.

It might only be February but with Empyre Burning Point have delivered as good an example of high quality melodic power metal as you are likely to hear all year. Release date is March 2nd via Metal Heaven.

Track Listing
01. Intro (The Godfather Theme) 01:21
02. Empyre 04:59
03. Manic Merry-Go-Round 04:40
04. Face The Truth 03:35
05. Fools Parade 04:46
06. Was It Me 04:27
07. Walls Of Stone 04:23
08. Sacrifice 03:53
09. Cruel World 04:47
10. Blinded By The Darkness 04:23
11. Only The Wrong Will Survive 04:48

Added: February 10th 2009
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 4133
Language: english

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