Blood of the Sun – Burning on the Wings of Desire (Listenable Records)

Wednesday, 27th March 2013
Rating: 8/10

Blood of the Sun have gone through some changes since their previous release (Death Ride) in 2008. The band signed to a new label in Listenable Records and changed their lineup with vocalist John O’Daniel and guitarist Rusty Burns coming in from Point Blank. They also managed to snag Mos Generator’s Tony Reed to handle some guitar and bass duties as well as produce the new record. Of course, drummer Henry Vasquez and keyboardist Dave Gryder remain the only two steady members of this 70’s rock inspired act and amazingly this eclectic group fires back with Blood on the Wings of Desire.

When I first read the news about this release, I thought the title of the album was lifted from a Wim Wenders’ movie. Certainly it sounded lofty, but I would expect nothing less from a band of this magnitude. All kidding aside though, Blood of the Sun have delivered a powerful fourth record that aims to bring hard-driving riffs, strong vocals and electric keyboard wizardry to full effect. Hell, the band has even brought in Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich to sing on a track, so you know they mean business. In fact, all eight songs are catchy as hell and move at full speed, thanks to all the participants involved.

The first track “Let it Roll” fires up the engine to a thunderous roar. The song is infused with a serious boogie-rock injection and already you start feeling good about this release. The title track follows and it moves at a quick pace setting the wheels in motion. Gryder’s keyboards kick in and you feel like your buzzing down the highway at breakneck speed. From there, the songs keep coming fast and heavy, with ample amounts of southern rock inspiration coming through on “Bring Me Down.”

The heaviest cuts flex some muscle on the final two tracks. “The Snitch” delivers the goods and truly does bring the hammer down on the proceedings. Lyrically, the song is a colorful play on words and coupled with O’Daniel’s boozy swagger in the vocal department, it makes for a satisfying listen. The final track “Good and Evil” showcases Wino on lead vocals and his gruff shouts help to carry a positive message about not selling yourself out. At least that’s what I took away from the thought-provoking lyrics…

Burning on the Wings of Desire clocks in just shy under the 40-minute mark and it goes by so quickly. There are no lows on this release and most often the explosive nature of the sound is a superb take on the heaviness of 70’s rock. If Vasquez and Gryder can keep this new line-up together, then we’re all in for a major treat and probably more great music to come. I say let it roll!

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