BURN HALO – Burn Halo

BURN HALO - Burn Halo
  • 7/10
    BURN HALO - Burn Halo - 7/10


Rawkhead Records
Release date: March 10, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Burn Halo is a hard rock band led by James Hart, the former front man of Orange County, CA’s 18 Visions. Studio musicians and some fairly well known names lent their talent to Hart for the recording of this album. Perhaps the most notable of those featured are Avenged Sevenfold’s Synyster Gates, Nickelback drummer Daniel Adair, and ex-Jane’s Addiction bassist Chris Chaney. Hart spent about a decade as 18 Visions’ singer before their break up in 2007. There’s no doubt that the guy can sing and he was wise to have continued on with a new band.

With Burn Halo, Hart seems to have hoped to create some pretty uncomplicated music and he admits as much. He says, “I wanted to make a very straightforward rock album. Something that had commercial appeal, but also something that had a classic, vintage mid-‘80s throwback vibe to it.” Indeed, “straightforward” and “commercial” are a good way of putting things. If you’re a seasoned fan of active rock, chances are pretty good you’ve heard all of this before. While most all of the songs are catchy, that doesn’t necessarily translate into appeal. Burn Halo will not attract those looking for something original. The musicians featured show that they’re skilled at their craft. Unfortunately, you won’t get the impression that they’re actually stretching themselves. A couple tracks do separate themselves from the rest. “Our House” garnered attention from the NFL Network and was played during the broadcast of one their football games. It’s a likeable tune that certainly appeals to a broad audience, but it’s one of the only clear winners on this album.

Hart goes on to say: “I wanted it to be really simple and easy to digest. I wanted there to be no question about what I was singing about.” Keeping it simple can be a good thing for a band. For Burn Halo, however, a little complexity would’ve helped this album, as it features repetitive and overly sappy lyrical themes. The songs seem designed almost entirely for FM radio. There’s nothing wrong with that, but does an album such as this make for a genuinely meaningful listening experience?

If you’re new to the active rock scene and expect nothing less (or more) than solid tracks, this will be a nice album for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a new and refreshing band that brings a little innovation to the table, you’d best look elsewhere. The band has (not unfairly) been compared to the likes of Buckcherry. Fans of them, and the bands already mentioned, are likely to enjoy Burn Halo’s brand of hard rock. They may not sound original, but if you find consistency within an album highly desirable, look no further than Burn Halo.

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