Burning Black - Smell The FireBurning Black is a young heavy metal band coming from Italia (Treviso). The 5 italians have founded the band there are 2 years ago and, after many shows, have began to compose their own material which, I must admit, is particularly efficient. The musicians have talent, which can be heard on guitars’ solos’ parts, full of feeling and technique, mainly, but also on the mastered vocals and on the rythmic section. Burning Black is playing a racĂ© old school heavy metal, inspired by the greatest heavy metal legends as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Accept or Saxon. ‘Smell The Fire‘ is their first demo recording and this first try is succesful, from A to Z, despite of some youth’s mistakes, that we will forget easily, as their technique background is sweeping out them all.
Burning Black has created there a real little gem, on which every musician plays from his heart. They love this style of music and this frankness is their winning card! Before the band release its new demo (10 songs, this time) on december, if you have the opportunity to get this mini-cd 4 titles, do it! You won’t have any regret!!
A band on which man will count on in the future. A very good surprise! A band you must ABSOLUTELY support if you are an old schoold heavy metal fan!!!

Kotipelto - SerenityThe last years were really exhausting for the blonde vocalist from the finnish band Stratovarius who, since the year 2003, The Beginning of the crisis between the Stratovarius‘ members, which appeared under the form of two really discussed albums (‘Elements Part 1′ and ‘Elements Part 2′, with the first one paradoxally being excellent), has lived some difficults moments, full of doubts and questionings. This quite dark period has given birth in 2004 to a very good solo album (his second one after ‘Waiting For The Dawn‘), which is intitled ‘Coldness‘, with a mainly night blue color cover artwork, reflecting the Timo Kotipelto’s tendency to pessimism (during this period)…

Since this period, time has passed by, Timo Tolkki excused himself to all the members of Stratovarius for acting as he has done, and Timo Kotipelto has emerged from the Darkness to give us a new album, much more luminous and positive, as the artwork (a woman in a desolation landscape, walking to the Light) and the title, ‘Serenity‘, are proving.

Musically, nothing has really changed : Timo K. is always doing an excellent melodic heavy speed metal, impregnated, this time, by some much more heavy metal riffs than in the past, which gives the impression of a found new energy. The choruses are merrier and more involving, a bit like those ones in Stratovarius‘ music, but much better! Man can remind them since the first listening and you can’t never forget them anymore.

We find on ‘Serenity‘, as well, speed songs (“Once Upon A Time”, “King Anti-Midas”, “Angels Will Cry”), as super-powerful mid-tempos (the 1st single “Sleep Well“, the title-song “Serenity“, “City Of Mysteries”, “Mr Know-it-All”, “Dreams And Reality“), as a splendid ballad (“After The Rain”), or a wonderful epic track (“The Last Defender”) of more than 8 minutes long!! During the listening-session of ‘Serenity‘, everyone will surely find a reason to like this marvellous and very melodic album, supported by 5 talented musicians and lead by Timo.

Even though this album is enlightened by the Light, some parts seem, however, a bit dark, which gives the impression of a dual atmosphere, between the Serenity and the fear of the future, between which the vocalist still seem to be a bit torn…The texts are proving it and seem to be not as optimistic as the music (“There’s no hope, I feel so cold/All is lost, I’ve been told/We shall fight till we die/But tonight, I won’t cry/Last defender” in ‘Last Defender’ or “Angels will cry/And the moon will disappear/The sun slowly dies/We’ll be fading into the dark so I fear” in ‘Angels Will Cry’)!

Serenity‘, more than ever else, is an outlet for Timo Kotipelto, who can express straight out his fears, feelings and vision about the world. But, there is this cover artwork and those keyboards’ atmospheres clerverly scattered by Janne Wirman (Kotipelto, Children Of Bodom, Warmen), which bring some touch of hope and of light to the album!

Timo Kotipelto has managed to exorcise the past to give us an album with some magic clarity and inspired, which doesn’t let people insensitive to this poetry. He has a gift to make fans and other music lovers vibrating on the rythm of his songs and we can affirm that ‘Serenity‘ could really appear into the Stratovarius discography, that it’s containing innovative ideas and power! A attempt has been managed prodigiously! Bravo to Timo for this masterpiece!!

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