Released: 2009, Limb
Limb Music has consistently been one of favorite record labels in the past 15 years or so. They seem to have a natural talent for finding and signing the bands that I like to hear. Burning Black is another winner in a long-line of quality signings. Although this is album #2 I believe that MECHANICHELL will be the bands first chance to get wider global exposure.
Based in Italy, you might expect to hear Italian style power metal, much like the bands on the Underground Symphony label (ie. Symphonic) but this is not the case at all. Burning Black write, play and perform pure US Power Metal. As with all Limb signings, the packaging and presentation is totally professional including the traditional historical liner notes. The production is also very decent; loud, clear, no problems are evident.
What really caught my ear were two components. First, the bands enthusiasm is really infectious. They play with heart and soul and it really comes through in the songs. Metal should have a bit of that dangerous edge, playing a little out of control, almost, but not quite. This excellent quality is in doubt emphasized by the second component, the vocal attack of singer, Dan Ainlay. It is not a matter of him having the highest quality voice but his delivery is very impassioned. You can hear him really singing his heart out on every song. He almost over-sings some of the songs which I have always enjoyed in my metal. I feel his contribution to the band take them up a notch.
Overall the musicians are no slouches either. Lots of guitar, great solos, good driving rhythms propelled by an up-tempo double-kick attack. The choruses are catchy but not too sweet or melodious. This is one of the most straight-up headbangable records I’ve heard all year. Yes, I just invented the word HeadBangable because it fits.
Normally I don’t quote label hype in my reviews but in this instance it’s oddly appropriate. The promo sticker that came on MECHANICHELL says, “…sounding like a mixture of Judas Priest, Malice, Lion, Hammerfall, and Brainstorm.” That’s a pretty apt descriptor (even though being billed as US Power Metal, and three of those five bands listed on the sticker are European) Burning Black capture that sound perfectly.