BURNING RAIN – Epic Obsession
Formed in 1998 by current Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich, "Epic Obsession" comes out at a perfect time as the stock is rising for good old fashioned hard rock with 1970’s bluesy values. While Whitesnake hunkers down for work on their next studio album and releases a few live documents from their touring escapades over the past few years, it’s a perfect time for the quartet to regain a buzz in the community. This third album may be a tad long for consumers at 14 tracks and over 74 minutes of music, but I believe the good to great ratio outweighs the ho-hum efforts, and that’s all that counts in the end really, doesn’t it?
The players in Burning Rain include vocalist Keith St. John, bassist Sean McNabb, and drummer Mat Starr- all very adept and capable to deliver Doug’s vision of an act with a load of Led Zeppelin, Whitesnake, Blue Murder, and the Rolling Stones influences when it comes to hooks, melodies, and hypnotic songwriting. "Epic Obsession" has everything you could desire- the slinky anthems that drive women wild like "The Cure" or "Pray Out Loud", the guitar-oriented numbers that bring out the axe hero in all of us like "Sweet Little Baby Thing" and "My Lust Your Fate" as well as the requisite ballad-oriented number that will make couples swoon with "Made For Your Heart".
The final two tracks include the Burning Rain take on "Kashmir", allowing Keith a chance to be a little cleaner in the melody department with this classic climbing epic right in Doug’s axe wheelhouse, and an acoustic rendition of the original "Heaven Gets Me By". To me, if you miss the early Blue Murder material or anything within the Whitesnake catalog, "Epic Obsession" should be mandatory for your collection.
Gives me hope that in a world fascinated with the quickest and easiest way to do things, acts like Burning Rain remain steadfast in their belief of real instrumentation, active band chemistry, and sincere output.