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Burn Halo
Up From The Ashes

Company: Rawkhead Rekords
Release: 2011
Genre: Hard Rock
Reviewer: EC

  • Full of attitude and bruising tunes



  • Damnit if James Hart isn't the best vocalist we've seen in ages! Those of you that know me or read my praise of Eighteen Visions should know the man. He fronted 'Visions for over a decade, culminating in what I deemed the best hard rock album since GNR's "Appetite" on the ST release in 2006. The stars and moon and all of that jazz never properly aligned and Hart was out of the band and fronting his part-time gone full-time act Burn Halo. The Orange County native crosses the Rockies to join band mates from Tulsa, Oklahoma making this a truly domestic export.

    The 2009 self-titled effort from Burn Halo fell flat dead in my opinion. I think at the time Hart was still in part-time/side project mode and was still negotiation with Eighteen Visions on a possible fence fix. The album had good character, tons of attitude but was just washed out on bad production and lifeless writing. Now Hart and company are on track with what should have been the 'Visions record post 2006. Joining this sophomore effort is a band more in the pocket and groove, jamming and playing and having a great time with monster production qualities. My God this just slams from start to finish and sounds amazing on disc.

    I can't help but think that if this thing was Swedish it would be huge. The US still doesn't know what to do with all of the great hard rock over the last few years. Look at Endeverafter and Operator and Neurotica (okay that's old now) and see the absolute misplacement and mismanagement of great hard rock acts that are caught somewhere off track and far from a home base (Sweden, Finland, Germany, Switzerland). Burn Halo will go down that same route and find audiences to play to but never on air. Regardless this album is full of attitude and bruising tunes that are captivated and highlighted by Hart's amazing vocal style. "Up From The Ashes" as a whole sounds like a really great Kik Tracee record or maybe the brush strokes of what Tesla should be now. Just listen to the huge drum calling on "Stranded" or the bombastic blast of "I Won't Back Down" or "Dakota". You can hear the strokes of melody up front and in charge and you can brace yourself for down tuned heaviness that up-converts into huge solos and lead work. Damn I'm just blown away at how good this sounds and how refreshing it is. Should hard rock in 2011 sound like this? YES, a resounding YES! Bring me more!

    California is kicking my ass from Avenged Sevenfold to Papa Roach to these guys. Europe...who the Hell needs 'em.


    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: BURN HALO
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    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Up From The AshesBurn Halo
    2011
    Eric Compton8/19/2011


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