JACK STARR’s BURNING STARR is the band of guitarist Jack Starr, who has played in VIRGIN STEELE before launching his solo career. BURNING STARR was founded back in the 1980s. The musical style is US Heavy/Power Metal, the hymnic version. Of course the band has put out several releases so far, but I have to admit that their newest one, “Land Of The Dead”, is my first encounter with this band and their music. Better late than never. “Land Of The Dead” was released via Limb Music Products on the 11th November… 2011 (11-11-11) and contains – surprise – 11 tracks. The cover is inline with the typical epic Metal albums from e.g. MANOWAR, MAJESTY, HAMMERFALL, VIRGIN STEELE, and so on. In addition, three guests agreed to play a part in this: Ross The Boss (ex-MANOWAR), David Shankle (ex-MANOWAR, DSG) and Marta Gabriel from CRYSTAL VIPER.

The album begins with the title track, a hymnic Heavy/Power Metal track where melody is a very important element. You could compare this track with the aforementioned bands, ROSS THE BOSS, ZANDELLE and more. The clean singing is very good, as is the catchy chorus. The focus overall lies on the vocals and guitar input (logic, it’s Jack Starr’s band), but the drums playing the same beat all the time can get annoying at some point. Sure, it’s not Progressive Metal these guys play, but still… some breaks of fills would be nice. Other than that, no complaints regarding this very good opening track. “Sands Of Time” takes off after the melodic intro. With a galopping rhythm, the focus lies mainly on the guitar input, of course. This is well done Epic Metal. The vocals, however, are a bit overdone, as if he tries to reach his limits or even surpass them, almost squeezing his throat. what stands out here too is the catchy chorus. The only lack or bad aspect about this song, in my opinion, is the lack of speed. Making the bridge speedier would make the song more attractive, more powerful.

The guitars and organ are central elements in “Twilight Of The Gods”. A spooky atmosphere is created and somehow I had to think of e.g. POWERWOLF, SAVATAGE and/or TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA. The song advances slowly and when the second guitar comes in, I found the transition a bit too rough, almost out of place. This is not a proper song, rather an interlude. Nothing bad, though not super either. It’s “Stranger In Paradise” that makes the listening again a pleasure with galopping Epic Metal. There you’ll find pounding, melodic verses connecting with a double bass chorus. And this increase in speed is very welcome. The song also feels a bit like a Fantasy song. No complaints about the solo, Jack Starr after all knows what he’s doing.

“Here We Are” is a midtempo Heavy Metal track where the chorus stands out, comparable to old HAMMERFALL, the era of “Glory To The Brave”. In short, good stuff. “Warning Fire” is another highlight and promises to be a fast track, judging by the beginning. Alas, speed is not an issue here, but the music is epic, alright. Übercatchy stuff, even if it sounds quite classic. There’s also a nice solo moment with pounding drums. Time for something softer then with “Daughter Of Darkness”, a ballad. Nothing special, in my opinion, and the high-pitched outings weren’t necessary either. “When Blood And Steel Collide”, can it get any more classic or even cheesy? I said before that the music is comparable to the likes of HAMMERFALL, MANOWAR and so on. Well, the titles certainly are another proof. You get pounding drums to start with, but they fall back to a regular midtempo. The guitarwork is again of main importance. This song might have a hymnic character, it’s a little too simple for my taste.

Luckily there’s “On The Wings Of The Night”, a faster paced, straight-forward Heavy/Power Metal track. Solid. “Never Again” begins with the bass, followed by the guitars and drums for additional building and tension. This midtempo Heavy/Power Metal track is comparable to the old works of SAVATAGE. It’s good. In “Until The End”, next to the traditional Metal instrumentation, you get the organ again. The rest is midtempo Metal. The solo is a little overdone, as is the chorus, especially the several repeats towards the end. They only make it annoying and tiresome.

“Land Of The Dead” is my first encounter with Jack Starr and his BURNING STARR. Overall, I’m pleased with the listening experience, as this kind of epic Heavy Metal is among my favourite styles. Like several albums in this category, it’s not good all the way. One song is stronger than the other and luckily the majority is indeed strong enough to carry this album, to make it worthwhile somehow. Maybe I should give the band’s back catalogue a chance for a better impression of their music. Basically, this is a good album, but not very good. Its biggest problems are:  lack of speed and more kick-in-the-ass drumwork. but if you’re into HAMMERFALL, MANOWAR, ZANDELLE, etc.. then BURNING STARR is another band for you.



  1. Land Of The Dead
  2. Sands Of Time
  3. Twilight Of The Gods
  4. Stranger In Paradise
  5. Here We Are
  6. Warning FIre
  7. Daughter Of Darkness
  8. When Blood And Steel Collide
  9. On The Wings Of The Night
  10. Never Again
  11. Until The End


Todd Hall – vocals
Jack Starr – guitar
Ned Meloni – bass
Rhino – drums