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Raw And Rough - 55%

SweetLeaf95, February 18th, 2017

Credit should be given wherever it is due without a doubt, but that doesn't always prevent something from being pretty damn boring for a decent part of the ride. While Burning Star certainly has a couple memorable moments and overall solid structure, I find it to be a bit of a let down.

With a positive start, the opening/title track of this is definitely worth its weight in gold, being the strongest part of the record. With a promising opening riff, a sense of doom, and a crunchy delivery, it brings on a pretty remarkable, yet raw track that could not be any more the likes of Angel Witch, or a watered down Satan. This would get anyone's hopes up, but after this track, it fails to vary in really any way, and sticks to what almost seems like a template. Granted, there is some killer solo work, especially at the beginning of "Toward The Unknown". "Leather And Lust" definitely had some high points as well, with a more interesting drum beat and rhythm section. These parts served as great ice-breakers and keep it from being too stagnant. But other than that, a lot of the songs are as dull as a butter knife, and struggle to hold my attention.

This would sit better with me if it were a demo, as it shares almost every quality of one. That's not entirely a bad thing, as I do enjoy raw production when in the mood, but the vocals certainly need to be cleaned up big time. It's pretty standard for the time, and though lacking much energy, you can see early signs of power metal. I don't think he has a bad voice, and his singing holds true to the music and keeps up with the guitars, but the outbursting shrieks that storm just about every track could have been completely cut out. While some can pull that off very well, I found them to be annoying on this record, and it almost sounded as if he was trying to do something he couldn't quite achieve. If the vocal work was as great as some of the riff work, then I'd probably like this a lot better. All of the guitar parts of "The Shadow of Iga" are pretty fantastic, and certainly represent another part of the album that stands out. But the screech let out right before the main solo in that song is cringe-worthy.

When push comes to shove, this is not a horrible release, and I gotta give them credit for being good musicians and putting out the effort. I think it is easily deserving of one spin, but that's about it. I call it great potential, but not very entertaining.