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For the love of God, what is this? I had been told that a band named Burning Starr, formed by Virgin Steele’s ex-guitarist Jack Starr’, was very good and that I should check it out. I always thought of him as a great guitarist and I liked the stuff he did with Virgin Steele. But I admit I never expected to hear something so good. This album is totally fucking-heavy metal!! Released in 1986, No Turning Back is their second album and vocalist’s Mike Tirelli, debut. Jack Starr has dealt with many projects and this one must be one of the best.
Which song can you single out of this metal manifest? Nine songs, plus three instrumentals and each one is better than the others. From the opening outbreak of the self-titled track to the finale of Coda, you experience a feeling, difficult to describe. They definitely hit the jackpot. DeFeis has handled the production and he also plays some beautiful keyboards. Jack Starr pays aspect to some great bands like Riot and Judas Priest, creating an album that streams right from the fountain of true power metal that mixes both harshness and melody. Tirelli delivers some divine vocals that please even the most demanding listener. They have a certain personality that combined with Starr’s amazing riffs, give a unique sound to the compositions.
How can one not be satisfied by songs like Call of The Wild or Avenging Angel? They have the most amazing riffs and solos and Keith Collins, yes the Savatage fellow, is giving a powerful rhythm with his pounding drum playing. You want to start banging until your head is separated from the rest of your body. Superb!
Road Warrior, Path of Destruction and the killing continues. They are overflowed by such energy and melody at the same time that you find hard to believe that this band never met with success. Listen to Tirelli’s fantastic vocal performance and feel the chills going up and down your spine. Many of the so-called famous bands would wish they had written songs like these. You only want to hear them over and over again since one time is not enough.
The rest of the songs don’t fall back either. Each one is a small metal thunder contributing to the album’s atmosphere. Run for your Life, Evil Never Sleeps and the list goes on. There is also a metal ballad, Fire and Rain, filled with melodies and emotion. There may be three instrumentals here but they are not too long thus boring. It is just what it takes until you catch your breath again and your heart beats fall back to normal.
I don’t think that Jack Starr would have done much better if he had stayed in Virgin Steele. If you do not have this album, find it by any means possible and you will not regret it, trust me on this. 1986 was a great year for metal, indeed.