BURN - GLOBAL WARNING (2007, FORMULA ONE RECORDS)
Jeff Ogden - vocals
Julian Nicholas - lead guitars
Phil Hammond - rhythm guitars
Barney Stackhouse - Keyboards
Marc Stackhouse - bass
Benjy Reid - drums
A huge surprise in 2007 is the return of UK melodic rockers Burn. Trainspotters will remember these guys turned up on the doorstep of 1993 with an excellent album called 'So Far, So Bad'. Seeing as all the major labels were interested in another genre (have a guess which one?), Burn provided the punters with a CD on their own label - Formula One Records. With an impressive lead singer called Jeff Ogden (compared to Paul Laine
and Jon Bon Jovi
), these boys seriously dented a melodic rock/AOR scene which didn't have much to show for it during 1993. The band toured throughout Europe, and apparently even made it over to the USA (According to their myspace site). In 1995, 'Spark To The Flame' was released, and consolidated their impressive credentials. But since then, the band went into hiding - for one reason or another. Now they return in 2007, with an album that predicts a dire warning for humanity. If the front-cover motto 'privacy is futile - we live in dangerous times' is anything to go by, perhaps it is no wonder these boys went into hiding. Perhaps Jeff and the boys have spent more time over at rense.com rather than melodicrock.com, because the subject matter is rather dark and stark. Recently, the latest Rob Rock
album 'Garden Of Chaos' covered similar themes of doom and gloom. Should we call this a new genre: 'Orwellian melodic rock'? Despite the less than encouraging subject matter, Burn have not lost their sense of melody. I was a bit worried when I heard reports that 'Global Warning' was nothing like their earlier efforts. I can confirm that those reports are unfounded. Alt or nu-metal 'Global Warning' is not, it's pretty melodic, but hard hitting and less of the airy keyboardy stuff from yesteryear - which is a relief.
The band lineup has changed in recent years. Original guitarist Rab Devenney chucked it in, and was replaced by the somewhat wizard-like Julian Nicholas. Drummer Karl Bee was killed in a motor accident, the drum stool now occupied by Benjy Reid. Both excellent additions to the Burn brigade. Chugging into action is 'Shadow Of The Satellites' - chugging rhythm guitars offset by hard driving organ lines and stomping drums. The message might be disconcerting, but 'Dangerous Times' is delivered with Threshold
like precision that it should be drilled into our heads with ease.. you would think! I enjoyed the fun-time melodic rock of 'Forgive Me' - a light in the musical dark (so to speak), especially when compared to 'Down In Flames', which for me is one of the albums highlights. Both the guitars and keyboards work in tandem real well - check out the power coming through on the chorus. 'Meltdown' is faster-paced mostly, the solos from Nicholas are in the widdly-diddly class, whereas 'Made That Way' harks back to some of the material heard on their earlier albums. The atmospheric 'Pray For Rain' leans toward dark textures to get its point across, but is done so with loads of melody and orchestral flavors. Taking a tougher stance is 'In Another Lifetime' which again, brushes up alongside Threshold
's recent offerings in a similar vein. Heading down the melodic Euro metal path is 'Weight Of Expectation'. Take a smidgen of Pink Cream 69
and a half dozen bands playing in that style, and you've got it down pat. By now, I am totally impressed with Nicholas' and Hammond's guitar work - the pair weave around each other on the excellent 'I Don't Know', while the band round it all out with the hard rock singalong anthem 'Give Me Tonight'.
Easily one of the better albums to come out of the UK during 2007. Despite the small-label pedigree, Burn think big, play big, and produce big. Despite my earlier misgivings, which later proved to be unfounded, 'Global Warning' is an excellent melodic hard rock album which puts major label signings to shame. A great vocalist, stellar lead guitarist and all-round tight musicianship from all involved may see Burn make it into my Top 10 albums for the year. Is that good enough a reference for ya?
01 Shadow Of The Satellites
02 Dangerous Times
03 Forgive Me
04 Down In Flames
06 Made That Way
07 Pray For Rain
08 In Another Lifetime
09 Weight Of Expectation
10 I Don't Know
11 Give Me Tonight
Burn - 1993 So Far So Bad
Burn - 2007 Global Warning
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