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Review: OZ - Burning Leather
Burning Leather

Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2011
Duration: 43:03
Tracks: 11
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: February 3, 2012
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Burning Leather

Rated 4.55/5 (90.91%) (22 Votes)

Well, this is one hell of a cool album. No wonder Luxi put it in his list of best albums of 2011. This has to be one of the best "album that could have been released 30 years ago" that I've heard in a long time. Very NWOBHM-ish, on occasion sounding much like Saxon, Burning Leather is 100% old school (except for the modern production, which thankfully takes nothing away from the old school vibe), is catchy as hell and occasionally pretty funny ("Turn the Cross Upside Down" makes me smile every time I hear it).

The vocals melodies coupled with the clean, relatively high-pitched singing just scream "sing along or I'll fucking kill you" – very engaging, and after just one listen a lot of those melodies will be stuck in your head. The same can be said for a lot of the songs here, whether it's the riffs or just the melodies this is all very catchy, while also having that "hey, this reminds me of this or that album" feeling that just keeps you guessing, while at the same time feeling like you've just travelled three decades into the past. Songs like the anthemic-must-make-a-killing-live "Enter Stadium" or the very Saxon-esque "Total Metal" just get me pumping every time, while the chorus in "Dominator" is forever imprinted in my brain.

A lot more could be said about the album, but that would require a lengthy track-by-track review. While Burning Leather is not all that original, it is bound to please fans of the band as well as fans of NWOBHM or straightforward, catchy, spirit-lifting old school Heavy Metal. A number of bands make a lacklustre comeback after many years, but OZ prove with Burning Leather that they still have what it takes. They may be stuck in a time machine but damn, it's stuck just on the right date. Recommended for any fan of old school Heavy Metal who just can't get enough of it.

Other related information on the site
Review: Burning Leather (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Fire in the Brain (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Transition State (reviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Review: Transition State (reviewed by MetalMike)
Interview with drummer Mark Ruffneck on January 17, 2014 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with drummer Mark Ruffneck on December 13, 2017 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with drummer Mark Ruffneck on September 30, 2018 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with Mark Ruffneck (drums) on October 2, 2011 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with vocalist Ape De Martini and drummer Mark Ruffneck on September 19, 2012 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with vocalist Ape De Martini, guitarists Juzzy and Johnny, bassist Peppi and drummer Mark Ruffneck on March 26, 2016 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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