Fireworks

Burning Kingdom - 'Simplified' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/0e/d7/b5/Burning-Kingdom-Simplified-77-1389047655.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     January 06, 2014    
 
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I thought I had decided my top album of the year months ago, then this little beauty came along.

Burning Kingdom are a Spanish based band formed by virtuoso guitarist Manuel Seoane, with two previous albums to their name.  A brand new line-up wrote and recorded the music for this latest release, but their singer left abruptly, leaving a batch of music with no lyrics.  A search for a new vocalist ensued, resulting in the arrival of Tyketto’s Danny Vaughn, in all honesty the real reason for my interest.

To come into a band and be able to write lyrics and melodies over music already recorded is admirable enough, but it’s testament to Vaughn’s abilities that he has come up with some of his most compelling lyrics to date.  Stamping his authority all over the album with his recognizable melodies and the wondrous powerhouse vocals that have become the hallmark of his career, ‘Simplified’ is an album that exceeds expectations.

Though a vast portion of the material leans towards Heavy Rock/Metal, and possibly the heaviest output of Vaughn’s since his work with Waysted back in 1985, there are a few numbers that are brimming with melodic brilliance and wouldn’t sound out of place on a Tyketto album, namely ‘The One That Almost Got Away’, ‘Falling Down’ and the catchy-as-hell ‘Simplified.’  First single ‘Watching As It Burns’ is a good indicator of the remainder of the songs, delivering more muscle and with a darker edge to the melodies.  The excellent ‘From On High’ is a dynamic up-tempo rocker built around a driving riff, while ‘Killing Time’ begins with a subtle guitar melody before erupting into a stunning Dio-style anthem, and the album’s heaviest chapter.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Throwing something different into the mix is ‘That’s My Boogie’, a swagger-filled grooving rocker with a huge riff, complete with a jazzy guitar interlude that develops into a jaw-dropping shred-fest.  The undoubted highlight of the album though is the spectacular ballad ‘I Will Fight No More Forever’, Danny Vaughn once again proving his wonderful ability and range with an emotional, spine-tingling vocal performance, while also demonstrating his lyrical story-telling prowess.

The only downside to ‘Simplified’ is the appalling intro piece ‘Stay Awake’ that is totally out of context with the rest of the material, but was added to the album without the band knowing.  For the full story read my interview with Danny in Fireworks #61, but I would certainly recommend skipping straight to track 2!

A talent like Manuel Seoane could have quite easily gone down the shredding guitar instrumental route, so I’m pleased that he has stuck to the band option, and in Danny Vaughn could have found the right partner and soul-mate to help finally bring those talents to a larger audience.  I thought I had decided my top album of the year months ago, then this little beauty came along.  Highly Recommended.

Ant Heeks

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