Burn Halo - Up From The Ashes
2011, Rawkhead Records/ILG
2011, Rawkhead Records/ILG
Fronted by former 18 Visions singer/songwriter James Hart, Burn Halo returns on June 28, 2011 with their sophomore album, Up From The Ashes. While Burn Halo's self-titled debut album was essentially a solo project, Up From The Ashes finds the band writing and recording as a team for the first time. Joey Roxx (guitar), Brandon Lynn (guitar), Aaron Boehler (bass) and Dillon Ray (drums) all collaborated with Hart this time around, under the watchful eye of producer Colby Wedgeworth. The result is a dynamic sound that is both commercial and original, with nods to the past while staying firmly planted on the edge of tomorrow.
Up From The Ashes opens with the album's first single, "Tear It Down", an incredibly catchy active rock number that's already getting a lot of attention from traditional and terrestrial radio. There's a definite metal edge here, even with a slightly reserved production style in evidence. "Up From The Ashes" is as catchy, with a huge hook in the chorus that will catch you up and carry you away. Burn Halo shows the pop sensibility of early Bon Jovi here without forsaking the testosterone in their sound. This might actually turn out to be a bigger single than "Tear It Down". Up From The Ashes alternates solid album tracks with virulent rockers, featuring "Stranded" and the power-ballad style of "Threw It All Away" before showing off some wicked guitar work and a big, droning rock sound in "Alone".
"Give Me A Sign" is done in power ballad style, a somewhat generic sounding number that gives way to the driven rock of hook-laden and memorable "Dakota". "I Won't Back Down" sounds like it should be a WWE theme; don't be surprised if the song is licensed either there, or for a sports network. This one is a potential sleeper hit, but probably needs the licensing tie-in to get the attention it deserves. Burn Halo closes with "Shine", offering up an example of pop-metal at its finest. This one is a huge anthem with serious punch, but a compressed musicality that's surprisingly deep. It's a great ending to a very good album that borders on greatness.
Burn Halo turns the corner on Up From The Ashes, growing from a talented solo project into a complete band. There's perhaps still some room to find the true depth of the band, Burn Halo appears to be very much for real. Up From The Ashes shows a willingness to rock hard, even if the band's metal tendencies are held back bit in the production process. Some of these songs could be absolutely over the top on stage. Burn Halo might just be the big breakout rock act of 2011.
Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about Burn Halo at www.myspace.com/burnhalo or www.facebook.com/burnhalo. Up From The Ashes drops on June 28, 2011. The album is available for pre-order on CD from Amazon.com.