It's been a nine year wait, but the third Burning Rain album, Epic Obsession, which was supposed to be released in 2004, is finally here. It's not like principals, vocalist Keith St. John and guitarist Doug Aldrich haven't been busy. The former has been tearing it up with Ronnie Montrose, the latter ripping up with that more than a little busy David Coverdale band.
Yet, St. John and Aldrich seem to have not missed a beat, now teaming up with Sean McNabb (Dokken, Quiet Riot) on bass and Matt Starr (Ace Frehley) on drums for some heavy melodic rock touch with the blues. Listening to Epic Obsession, I can't help but feel that both artists have been more than a little influenced by the recent collaborations.
You can hear echoes of both Whitesnake and Montrose throughout this disc, notably on Sweet Little Baby Thing, Our Time Is Gonna Come, and Out in the Cold Again. Then toss in the cover of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir as a bonus track and you get a real sense of the St. John/Aldrich connection to heavy rock. While hardly sounding like Robert Plant, you can hear his inspiration in St. John's style: flat out forceful, but also sweltering and emotional. Just check out Too Hard to Break, When Can I Believe in Love, and My Lust Your Fate (see vid below). Of course, Aldrich is simply terrifyingly good on that guitar, shredding with cool passion and fiery dexterity.
Other stand out songs include the emotional ballads Heaven Gets Me By and Made For Your Heart. Then there's the odd Ride the Monkey, which, lyrically speaking, has you scratching your or, at the very least, biting at your credulity; it's simply a strange song. Nevertheless, after nine years in making, or waiting, as the case may be, Burning Rain's Epic Obsession is pretty darn good melodic heavy rock. Easily recommended.
After nine years in making, or waiting, as the case may be, Burning Rain's Epic Obsession is pretty darn good melodic heavy rock from Keith St. John and Doug Aldrich. Easily recommended.
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