Jack Starr's Burning Starr
Land Of The Dead
That was quite a journey back in time… I thought that the calendar was pointing somewhere at the mid-80s when heavy metal music was in its prime… when people lived and breathed for heavy metal and when the (later) “big bands” were starting making music… away from managers, fame & fortune… music from the heart out of sheer love. It seems that Jack Starr still presents those values after almost 30 years… and inhales for heavy/power metal music… no matter what.
Jack is a legendary guitarist (for those who do not know him)… he’s part of the 80s heavy metal music… he was responsible for Virgin Steele’s success (along with DeFeis of course) and later he continued as a solo artist and with the Burning Starr band (in the meantime, he played in several bands/projects and in 2003 he released an album with his band Guardians Of The Flame)… all these years, he stayed true to heavy/power metal music he never compromised or changed his style for the sake of money or for a good label contract and that’s why I respect him so much as a musician… after all, he is a great guitarist and songwriter… without a doubt. He returned with Burning Starr in 2008, when he performed at the Magic Circle Festival and in 2009 he released the band’s comeback album “Defiance” through DeMaio’s Magic Circle Music.
Burning Starr’s line-up is the same one that recorded “Defiance” and in my opinion, “Land of the Dead” is way better in every part. The album production which is very tight, heavy and powerful was made by Bart Gabriel (Lonewolf, Crystal Viper, Sacred Steel), and the cover artwork (one of the best metal artworks for years) was designed by Ken Kelly (Rainbow, Manowar, Kiss). This album, also, features guest appearances by David Shankle (ex-Manowar) and Ross the Boss (ex-Manowar) on lead guitar and Marta Gabriel (Crystal Viper) on grand piano and keyboards.
“Land of the Dead” is a heavy/power/epic metal album that could have been easily released in the mid/late-80s… it’s full of sharp heavy riffs, excellent guitar solos, powerful vocals and a “cryptic epic atmosphere” that surrounds the album. It features many descent metal songs but the amazing power/ballad “Daughter of Darkness” is one of the best songs that Jack has delivered in his career yet. This is heavy metal with tones of balls… this is how heavy metal music used to be in the 80s… away from all these gay/shitty/groovy/modern/trendy – wannabe metal elements that most bands are having nowadays. Of course, it’s hard for the younger guys to like this kind of music but for the “old ones”… those who are over 30 years old… it will bring “longing” memories back…
Certainly, the 80s metal maniacs and the “older metalheads” will dig “Land Of the Dead” as for the rest… sorry guys, but if you are not familiar and you do not honor your roots then, you do not actually love and care for this kind of music and your future seems dimmer and dimmer… Long Live Heavy Fuckin’ Metal!