Although this is Burning Ground’s debut full length album, they’ve been enriching the Metal scene in their native Italy since 2002. A few line-up changes have ensued, as they always do, but the longevity in the band’s history shines through in their personal brand of mature, varied Heavy Metal. Taking their cue from American bands like Savatage and Metal Church, Burning Ground have spent those formative years molding their own sound and their own way of capturing the style of Metal that has influenced them.

It’s quite refreshing to hear an Italian Metal band distancing themselves from Rhapsody-esque galloping symphonic power metal in order to concentrate on a more classic speed metal approach and Burning Ground throw themselves at it with much professionalism and skill. Each song has powerful guitars lines at it’s core, braced by a tight, pounding rhythm section and crowned by classic rich speed metal style vocals akin to say Helstar, Obsession, Malice, Omen, Jag Panzer, as well as the aforementioned Savatage or Metal Church. “Last Day Of Light” is basically six balls-out Speed/Heavy Metal tracks sandwiched between an eerie, atmospheric intro and it’s dark, acoustic counterpart that takes the album out.

The songs are all of a similar approach, but each has it’s own details, that may not be instantly identifiable but with repeated listens there are many highlights to latch onto (for instance, the chorus on ‘Facing The Shame’ hooks you in well enough, but the excellent riff before the solo just lifts the track higher and demands repeated plays!), never lacking in power or dynamics, every song is fired at the listener with suitable venom and gusto. There’s usually an excellent, shredding guitar solo waiting in the wings, plus that classic speed metal trick of twinning the vocals every now and again (sometimes just for one note at the end of a line, other times for an entire chorus), is used to fabulous effect throughout the album and is another obvious sign of the thought and attention that has gone into crafting and recording “Last Day Of Light”.

Topped off with a powerful, uncluttered and clear production, this is a sterling debut from Burning Ground. The band may take their influence from classic Metal bands of the 80’s, but their sound is their own and just as relevant today – it should earn them support slots with many more Metal acts that visit their shores, and now with their own album to promote who knows what exiting prospects await the band in the years to come. One thing’s for certain, it may have taken a while for this band to record their first album, but on the evidence of this impressive debut, the future is looking good for Burning Ground.

(7.5/10 Andy Barker)