Artist:  Burning Rain
   Title: Epic Obsession
   Label: Frontiers Records

Before Doug Aldrich joined Dio and later on Whitesnake, and before Keith St John joined Montrose, the pair spearheaded one of the finest Melodic Rock bands of the late nineties, Burning Rain.  Now in 2013, we see the long awaited third album from the duo, only this time round the pair have joined forces with Sean McNabb (Dokken, Quiet Riot) on bass guitar and backing vocals, as well as Matt Starr (Ace Frehley band) on drums, as well as guests Brian Tichy and Jimmy D’Anda (Ex-Bullet Boys) on drums.

Back in 2004 Aldrich signed Burning Rain to a recording contract for a 3rd album to be released with Frontiers, with the intention of working on the album when Whitesnake was on hiatus.   Its taken until 2013 for this Hard Rock tree to bear fruit and believe me, this fruit has never tasted sweeter.

From the opener ‘Sweet Little Baby Thing’, you know the wait has been worth it.  Aldridge is on fire as always and St John has never sounded better, his bluesy tones are the perfect foil for the natural bluesy guitars of Aldridge.

The hard-hitting ROCK continues with the storming ‘The Cure’.  If you're feeling down then this one fixes what ails you have for sure.  The pounding rhythms of McNabb, along the six strings of Aldridge drive this one, as they do on the up-tempo rocker ‘Til You Die’.  This is full blown Burning Rain at their finest.  Then its time to bring the tempo, but not the quality, down a touch with the excellent ballad ‘Heaven Gets Me By’, with St John showing off those bluesy vocals to great effect, even at times reminding me of John Corabi.

Its back to the Hard Rocking with the full throttle ‘Pray Out Loud’, before bringing the tempo down once more with the semi acoustic ‘Our Time Is Gonna Come’, and rich melody filled ‘Too Hard To Break’.  Then its back up to speed once more with the riff filled funkster ‘My Lust Your Fate’.

There’s an air of the epic about the stunning ‘Made For Your Heart’, another heart felt love song in true Burning Rain style,  This song is very reminiscent of the first two albums and I’m sure it will become a firm fan favourite.

But it’s the up-tempo rockers that really do it for me and one of the best on the album is ‘Ride The Monkey’.  This is Burning Rain taking Melodic Hard Rock kicking and screaming into the now, before the Zeppelinesque ‘Out In The Cold Again’ and the final ballad ‘When Can I Believe In Love’.

The album closes with a great version of Led Zeps ‘Kashmir’ and a great acoustic version of 'Heaven Gets Me By’.  If you’ve got the first two albums then this is must buy.  If you missed the debut ‘Burning Rain' and ‘Pleasure to Burn’ fear not, because these two long out of print records are now finally available via Frontiers Records, newly packaged and featuring two bonus tracks each. All three albums well worth checking out.

Review by: Barry McMinn

Tracklisting:

1. Sweet Little Baby Thing
2. The Cure
3. Till You Die
4. Heaven Gets Me By
5. Pray Out Loud
6. Our Time Is Gonna Come
7. Too Hard To Break
8. My Lust Your Fate
9. Made For Your Heart
10. Ride The Monkey
11. Out In The Cold Again
12. When Can I Believe In Love
13. Kashmir (bonus track)
14. Heaven Gets Me By (bonus track)

                   

 

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