by Derric Miller
– Managing Editor –
Germany has blessed the world with a bevy of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal bands, from the legendary Scorpions, to the born-again Accept, to the slightly less heralded but immeasurably talented Bonfire — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Germanic music. One German band you may not have paid attention to, but has been around since 1986, is Cannon, and they have just released their new studio album called Burning Love.
Cannon has been through the ups and downs bands experience, from lineup changes, to a major label shutting down the contract right before a signing, to even having their studio tapes stolen for a 1991 album release. But in 2003, the original lineup reformed, they re-released their past recordings, and gave the masses all new recordings in 2005 (Back in Business) and in 2008 (Metal Style). Burning Love is the next step in the band’s metal-edge perseverance.
A subdued and atmospheric instrumental, “Guardian Pipes,” complete with bagpipes and church bells, opens the album. Then “Guardian of the Night” tears everything asunder, and you’ll hear a maniacal guitarist by the name of Oliver Krueger set things aflame. There’s a reason why Accept was mentioned earlier, and you’ll hear it in both the guitars and the gritty, snarling vocals of Mat Jaehnke. In fact, Jaehnke is somehow a mixture of both Udo and Mark Tornillo, except even in his harshest he probably wields more melody than both. Everything Cannon writes is an anthem, and you’ll have this chorus stuck in your skull for days just hearing it once.
The title track, “Burning Love,” is another frenetic song, a violent, breakneck composition that still owns a massively melodic chorus. Krueger’s riffing is expert, and you’ll go back and forth on if you like his solos, leads or riffs more.
“Goodbye” is a complete different animal, especially after listening to the bruising tracks like “Hold Me, Love Me.” This song is a “power ballad,” with dancing keys, smooth acoustic guitar, and a simple yet haunting chorus, especially when Jaehnke sings “Goodbye forever …”
Of course, it’s not like Cannon to go soft on you — their songs are all musical Viagra. So after “Goodbye,” they race into another anthem, “Life,” a song that musically may remind you of Pretty Maids older compositions, with its galloping rhythms and melodic leads.
A kick ass instrumental, “Bachrock,” is one of the more amusing moments on the release. It’s brief, clocking in at 1:10, and allows Krueger to play what can only be described as Neoclassical Metal, something Yngwie Malmsteen brought to the forefront and basically named.
With 14 overall songs, and nary one you’d ever skip, Burning Love is just a complete Metal album. The gents in Cannon have been blasting away since 1986 and like the resurgent Metal movement, they show no signs of slowing down. Fans of bands like Accept, modern Helloween, Pretty Maids, and about 100 other great Metal bands will surely find something in Cannon that trips their trigger repeatedly and with reckless abandon.
Genre: Hard Rock, Metal
Mat Rein Jaehnke – Vocals
Steve Carrington – Bass/Keyboards/Back. Vocals
Oliver Krueger – All Guitars
Walter Mueller – Drums
01. Guardian Pipes
02. Guardian Of The Night
03. Burning Love
04. Hold Me, Love Me
05. Heads Up With The Devil
08. Cold Morning
10. Holy Devil
12. Run For Your Life
13. A Light In The Dark
14. One World
Label: Meantime Music
Hardrock Haven rating: 8.2/10