Saturday, March 31, 2012

Black Burn-The Invocation

High Roller Records

In the early part of the eighties heavy metal was alive and well over almost all of Europe except seemingly for the post-Cold War Berlin. In what little scene there was one name that stood above the rest was bassist Jörg Franke. He spent time playing with Tantalos, Skylla, Ballantinez and Calderone. Ballantinez recorded a EP entitled “Charged” for Noise Records in 1985 and Calderone released a s/t EP for Parallel Lines Records in 1988. In Between these groups he found time for numeros side-projects which is where Black Burn comes in. While most of Franke's work is either heavy metal or speed metal in sound this group was influenced by the likes Mercyful Fate, Venom and Black Sabbath. Interestingly enough Black Burn could be looked at as early black metal in nature. Backed by various session musicians the only "real" members of Black Burn were Marcel Klinger (who offers vocal growls for those of you into groups like Venom and Hellhammer) and Jörg Franke. On four of the songs (“Skylla”, “Dr. Vollin”, “Priest of Dread” and “The World is an immeasurable War”) Carsten Köhler played guitar and Timo Niedenzu played drums. Dark Avenger's Andreas Breindl plays drums on “Necrophile” a track which may or may not have influenced the Slayer track of the same name. Even if Black Burn was originally only intended to be a studio project it is hard to figure out why they received so little interest from record labels other than the fact that maybe it was just that the band was a little ahead of the times. Who knows what the outcome would have been if someone would have had the foresight to sign this group? In the end though we have this interesting High Roller Records collection of six tracks. Gathered together in these six tracks is some unearthly metal. My first run through of this album made me think that Metal Mark should have reviewed this one as this is something he would quite enjoy. I have no doubt that the doom elements (again Black Sabbath and possible Trouble) would have really interested him. With the early black metal vibe this release comes off as dark and dreary. It is cold and atmospheric. For those interested in the sounds of early black metal/doom these six tracks should be a real treat.

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