Released: 2006, Metal Heaven
Finnish power-metallers Burning Point are back on a new label and pick up right where they left off, delivering razor-sharp speedy riffs, excellent musicianship, good lyrical content, and an apparently incurable case of pyromaniacal obsession. Like fellow Finns Stratovarius and Sonata Arctica, Burning Point weave keyboard lines in and amongst the riffage, especially during the slower, more melody-laden tracks like "Heart Of Gold." While keys have always been present in previous Burning Point releases, they've become more prevalent on this album with the addition of a full-time keyboard player to the band's lineup. Fortunately, they're used primarily for atmosphere and reinforcement of themes, detracting nothing from the superb guitar work.
Unlike the singers in the aforementioned groups, vocalist / guitarist Pete Ahonen does not stretch for the stratosphere in terms of his vocals, instead sticking to a melodic midrange which at times recalls the stylistics of Tobias Sammet of Edguy and on some occasions conjures up a hint of Matt Barlow (ex-Iced Earth). To these ears, it's a welcome difference, one that helps set the band apart from their countrymen and the glut of double-bass-drum keyboards-and-shred-guitar-laden power metal groups out there.
One such difference does not a totally original work make, unfortunately, and Burning Point suffers from the "more of the same" syndrome to an extent. While they mix it up effectively between the fast & furious and the slow & melodic, after listening to a few tracks of each, you start to get the feeling you have heard this all before. This does not necessarily make this a bad album by any stretch of the imagination, just one that won't stand out in your mind as anything exceptionally memorable.
The bottom line is if you're a fan of the genre, chances are you'll highly enjoy this slab of metallic pyrotechnics. It is well written, excellently produced, and played with conviction, and that makes it a worthwhile listen in my book.