Genre: Heavy Metal/U.S. Power/Epic
Label : High Roller Records
While listening to JACK STARR’S BURNING STARR’s fresh release, I kept reflecting on the magnitude of talent this guy (Jack Starr) has been blessed with while simultaneously thinking he’s cursed with spending this talent in the name of Heavy Metal. He’s balancing upon the sensitive thread of shakiness. In a parallel universe where Heavy Metal is functioning on different rules, Jack Starr would sell his compositions for gold to other bands. Luckily, nonetheless, Heavy Metal culture lies upon different ethics, which at many times have sentenced composers like Starr despite their reputation among the metal community to a career that’s never going to exceed the cult – underground boundaries. Thirty eight years ago Starr formed in his birthplace (Paris) the later successful Starr System along with Jeannot and Petit Pois, who would even later become Trust, precursor of its current band. On quick moves, he abandoned France and in league with David De Feis, he formed legendary Virgin Steele. With an important role in the composition of their first two albums, ‘Virgin Steele’ (1982) and ‘Guardians Of The Flame’ (1983), Jack Starr would enter the Heavy Metal heroes pantheon even if he did not reunite on another album ever in his life. Despite all that, in 1985 he formed JACK STARR’S BURNING STARR and since then he’s been keeping our minds occupied with his melodic albums.
Now it’s time for the seventh album of the band to rise, with the shift to the epic sounds that begun their course in 2009 with ‘Defiance’ being established as a trademark of the band. In fact, the sound of the band seems to have passed through waves but now it has been clarified that by buying a JACK STARR’S BURNING STARR album, you’re investing in epic, classic heavy metal record, the kind that would turn live gigs in huge arenas sold out and would force in a way the audience to raise their fists high and sing rhythmically choruses or sing along the guitar melodies with those special “oh-oh’s” filling the air.
While we’re on the topic; if you haven’t been living inside a cave for the past decade, you ought to know that JACK STARR’S BURNING STARR’s vocals are the best on the field out there. No special knowledge is needed to understand this because we are talking about a voice that makes you shiver even if you are singing out on duty pharmacies. Riot’s throat, most kind Todd Michael Hall, gives his best self, reminding us of unforgettable Rhett Forester (no exaggerations) and uplifts the tracks with his unique flexibility.
Once more, rhythm section is solid, the galloping riffs and the epic references are still here and blend perfectly with the easy flowing yet mind – sticking lyrics. Production – wise, everything’s crystal clear and enough room is left for the compositions to breath, with the stretched length of the songs playing catalytic role, compared to the previous two albums. For a third album, songs that honor the prideful epic US Metal are sticking out and I’m hopeful they’ll leave their mark in the genre that has unfortunately been in decline for many years now. ‘Secrets We Hide’ with its stunning solo and Maiden’s approach stands out, ‘Enemy’ has a sticky and vibrant drumming, ‘The Sky Is Falling’ is catchy; the melodious ‘Escape From The Night’, ‘Stronger Than Steel’ and ‘False Gods’ stand out as well!
In conclusion, we are talking about a carefully crafted album, an attentive approach towards all the aspects of creating an album, that’s easy to be distinguished among the average releases of recent years. I would take out the ballads (We Are One) or the sweet-sour ‘Destiny’ and I would have ranked the album with a better score if they were missing, however, we shouldn’t turn into hogs… It goes without saying… We invest, we support, we purchase!