Burning Earth - Chronicles of the Calling
Epic Melodic Death/Power Metal
7 songs (52:14)
Release year: 2007
Reviewed by Thomas
Archive review

Out of Glasgow’s shady grey corners and smoke-filled pubs, this ambitious lot of metal-heads stuck their faces out with the ambitious EP Chronicles of the Calling back in 2007. Burning Earth, probably named after the Firewind-album, consists of several seemingly experienced musicians, and has been around for roughly three years now. Playing a brand of metal that could be described as a healthy mixture of melodic death metal and power metal; they play music that isn’t very easy to find. A mix between Bal-Sagoth and Wintersun would maybe fit as a proper description even though they are leaning much more on the UK epic metal monsters than the Finnish time-benders. Chronicles of the Calling works as a very powerful introduction to the epic metal universe, and easily put; I’m impressed.

If I were to write a three-word review, melodic, epic and technical would pretty much do it. The fitting and spacey intro, and properly named as well, Welcome, pretty much sums up what you’re going to get here as it’s filled to the brink of tasty and dreamy keyboard passages. Seasons of Thunder kicks everything of properly and comes of just like the intro suggests. Atmospheric keyboards layered over some moody guitar arpeggios backs up Graham Lapper’s anguish-filled raspy and somewhat guttural shrieks. Included are also the deep and majestic clean vocals that possesses Bal-Sagoth’s later releases. Clocking for just a little over seven minutes, this is one of the shortest proper tracks on the entire record as The Scaven Cleaver is the only one fading out just over four minutes in. Last of the Skylords continues along the same lines as the previous, and as I’m listening to this monster, Martin Doyle’s drumming becomes more and more apparent. He provides a solid backbone and his simple yet interesting fills are kept high in the mix, and thereby easy to catch on to and enjoy while they’re travelling towards stardom. Jaime Cross’ distinct keyboard-work shouldn’t go unnoticed either, as he creates a lot of the mysticism and atmosphere surrounding this band with sounds carefully chosen for each song. In fact, for some odd reason, the dreamy sounds and effects makes me think of Mithras even though the bands have very little in common musically. The lead guitars, which are also very audible here, may not be the most dazzling you have heard, but the incredible yet simple touches they put on through this song and every other one are hard not to appreciate.

The shortest and most straight-forward tune on here, The Scaven Cleaver puts Burning Earth’s more aggressive side on display, as the choppy straight-out death metal riffs as well as deeper growls from vocalist Lapper are more dominant than the inspirational melody lines and tortured shrieks. This does also however drift into epic territory without dragging it out for several minutes. After this however, the EP starts to drag if only by a little. The rather unnecessary interlude Visions could’ve been left out, unless it has some conceptional purpose, and even though What Hope Lies starts off pretty good and has its peaks, it works more as a connection between a somewhat weaker point and the awesomeness that awaits us with the monstrous finisher Legions of the Burning Earth (Tale of a Thousand Swords). A brilliant album closer, which starts out furiously with attacking shreds and hell-blazing drums as well as some brilliant melodic solar beams. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

To be honest with you, I would never have guessed that this was a debut if someone had just handed me this randomly. Its somewhat unfinished yet strikingly precise production, skillful musicianship and interesting song-writing makes me more than look forward to what these guys have in store for us come an eventual full-length. Very impressive, and very recommended for fans of Bal-Sagoth, Wintersun and Ensiferum.

Killing Songs :
Seasons of Thunder, Last of the Skylords, Legion of the Burning Earth
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