Jack Starr has a long history behind him and his legacy in the overall hard n’ heavy sound is not only well known and documented but also indisputable. Up until this day, his guitar work and compositional contribution to the Virgin Steele classic “Guardians of the Flame” is highly acclaimed and discussed all over the world while his 80s offering with his solo vehicle Burning Starr is rather criminally underrated. When the French-rooted guitarist decided to reactivate Burning Starr, Starr made a cautious move to make a total return to the pure epic sound thus bringing joy to his loyal fan base.
“Land of the Dead” makes a bold step forward in comparison with its excellent predecessor “Defiance” which was released a couple of years ago. Starr, Meloni and Michael Hall carry on crafting some brilliant tunes and impress us all with their flawless performance. Naturally, you didn’t need this review to acknowledge Starr’s top-class guitar playing. But, he surely excels with the double solo attack on “Sands of Time” (the best song on the record) and in the intro and riffing on “Daughter of Darkness” (Blackmore would be proud with this one). As for the eastern-flavored “Never Again”, well I am sure that all the Deep Purple MK II aficionados will definitely trace influences of the classic “Perfect Strangers”.
Is “Land of the Dead” a remarkable studio offering by Burning Starr? Well, it’s epic, it’s metal, it’s anthemic, it’s powerful, it’s guitar driven…it’s Jack Starr! That’s what it is…there you have it!
Highlight: Some will probably notice that two of the songs are called “Twilight of the Gods” and “On The Wings of the Night”…these have nothing to do with Virgin Steele’s similarly entitled songs.