The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




OCTOBER 22 2013








Just when you thought that 2013 was a great year for music it gets even better with Manuel Seoane’s band Burning Kingdom putting out an album that will take your breath away.


If you love your Melodic Rock then you will love this, and if the quality of the songs wasn’t enough then the presence of Danny Vaughn, (of Tyketto fame) one of the finest vocalists out there, on this their third offering, might just pique your interest.


In a genre that is somewhat starting to sound the same these days there’s a real vitality and energy to this release. The musicianship is crisp and the production captures a solid set of performances from a band with a rich and varied pedigree.


Opening track ‘Watching as it Burns’ crashes into your consciousness with a glorious lack of subtlety and great upfront guitars before Vaughn’s vocal has you instantly recalling the magic of his most famous band Tyketto. The chorus is huge and underlines instantly the immense potential for something truly great. And as the album progresses you realise that this is a real Rock album, made to be played from end to end.


After a song like that of course comes the question “how can you possibly top that” but if there’s a song on ‘Simplified’ that bursts with dynamics and all that is best about Melodic Rock it’s ‘From on High’ . Vaughn’s vocals and intonation and natural sense of melody shine as brightly as ever, and the song burns as bright as the sentiment.


‘That’s My Boogie’ has a swagger that you can’t help but compare to some of Tyketto’s funkier moments like ‘Lay Your Body Down’ from their impeccable debut and the change of focus adds yet another layer to the story. The use of spoken word asides both here and in ‘From on High’ also work particularly well, and the guitar work is stunning.


When it comes to an album like this, and such a great opening the question is always can they keep it up and ‘The One That Almost Got Away’, though more reflective  adds texture and warmth. ‘We are a Wall’ explores further the theme of solidarity and defiance that runs as a subtle thread through the album and again pauses for a spoken word piece that again works.


For those waiting for the ballad it comes in the shape of ‘I Will Fight No More Forever’ - shot through with bluesy guitar before the keyboards underline a searching vocal. Vaughn’s voice of course is made for moments like this and seems to relish the simple dynamics, adding to the emotional effect and sweeping the song up to soar into the skies, which it does on the back of a truly beautiful solo. The only slightly odd aspect is the abrupt ending to the song.


Back to the meat of the album: ‘Falling Down’ and ‘Killing Time’ which follows up the pace once again and underline the strict quality control at play here. ‘Killing Time’ is the more atmospheric and has a more metallic resonance than any other song here, and adds yet another aspect to the band’s sound. ‘Skeleton Tribe’ is similarly solid, but it’s the closing title track ‘Simplified’ that really hits home, lyrically longing for simpler things and pushing aside the distractions of modern life.


Simply stunning.



Mark Diggins