If you’re into some serious guitar noise, you’ll like this. ‘Up From The Ashes’ is the sophomore effort from Burn Halo, and it is impressive. Following a self-titled debut which was more ‘radio rock’-sounding, the group went a step further on this record, injecting some metal energy into the music. The result is a quality album which is melodic and loud as a rock record, but with an extra dose of attitude that pushes it outside the genre boundaries.
Burn Halo started as a project of James Hart, the ex-vocalist of now disbanded metalcore group Eighteen Visions. The first album came to life with help from musicians such as Chris Chaney (ex-Jane’s Addiction), Neil Tiemann (David Cook), Daniel Adair (Nickelback), Synyster Gates (Avenged Sevenfold) and the producer Zac Maloy. Touring band line-up featured new members and changed over time to eventually make the group what it is today. ‘Up From The Ashes’ is a redefinition of Burn Halo – it comes as a collaboration between the band members, a first truly collective effort. It was a long journey for Hart and his team, and the changes are definitely reflected in this second album.
The record is heavy and intense throughout – as hinted by the opening song and the first single, Tear It Down. You’ve really got to play this one loud! Following this track are diverse and rather interesting pieces. A special mention here has to go to Up From The Ashes, the title song from the record. It is not only heavy and loud, it is also inspiring and uplifting, encompassing the spirit of the album as a whole. Next comes Stranded – quite a radio-friendly song. It’s got heavy riffs, intense rock vocals and personal lyrics. The three are then moulded into an energetic, melodic and catchy song, one you are likely to be singing along to. Threw It All Away is another piece deserving a mention. It is a very mature sounding ballad and in line with the rest of the record, it’s intense and powerful. The instrumental part is more of a background here, with Hart’s vocals driving the song, making it personal and moving. One of the more important pieces on the album is Dakota. It is an elaborate, fast and heavy song with personal lyrics and strong vocals. Instrumentally it may be the best song on the record, with the guitar parts really making this track. ‘Up From The Ashes’ ends with Shine – again, a song with a rich instrumental arrangement. It is both nostalgic and energetic, an interesting conclusion to the record.
‘Up From The Ashes’ is heavier and more focused than Burn Halo’s debut album. In a way, it is a new beginning for the band and definitely a promising effort. The songs are well written and arranged, and are guaranteed to please any hard rock fan – and quite likely a few metal fans, too. This release is definitely worth your attention and Burn Halo are the ones to watch!
Burn Halo is: James Hart (Vocals), Joey Roxx (Lead Guitar), Brandon Lynn (Rhythm Guitar/Vocals), Aaron Baylor (Bass/Vocals), Dillon Ray (Drums/Vocals).
By Natalia Gronowska