Burning Blood

Athens (Attica)
Heavy Metal
1982-1983 (as POISON), 1983-1988 (as BURNING BLOOD)

Although something of an obscurity today, Athens’ BURNING BLOOD belonged to the early generation of Greek Heavy Metal and, had things gone different, they would probably be mentioned in the same breath as pioneering bands like SARISSA, SPITFIRE, VAVEL, VICE HUMAN, etc. Many of those who do know about the band these days probably discovered them through the super-cult live appearance available on Youtube, which features the same lineup that recorded the band’s only official release – a demo tape sent to EMI back in the mid-1980s (more on that later).

The band was originally founded in 1982 as POISON (long before the North American band, mind you), with future BURNING BLOOD mainman and guitarist Dimitris Paloudis (AKROS APORRITON, MIRROR SYMMETRY, ROCK BOTTOM PROJECT, etc.) handling both the six-strings and vocals along with Stelios Pantazis (bass) and Nikos Sakalis (drums). Being in pursuit of a proper singer for the band, they managed to get ahold of future VAAL vocalist George Tsimpinoudakis; an experienced singer with a massive voice who had previously been fronting a band called MINISTER. With the band now moving in a heavier direction, the name was shifted from POISON to BURNING BLOOD on a suggestion by George Tsimpinoudakis. By the same time, a major overhaul took place in the member ranks, with Nikos Sakalis and Stelios Pantazis being replaced by Haris Iliopoulos and Dimitris Tsonis on drums and bass respectively, while a second guitarist was found in George Kolozis.

However, with both Dimitris and George T being strong personalities as well as holding differing opinions on the future of the band, things didn’t fully work out and another shift was bound to happen. After having performed a handful of live shows, George Tsimpinoudakis thus left the band to form one of Greece’s other cult bands: VAAL. With the second guitarist George Kolozis also leaving, Dimitris once again became the band’s sole guitarist and also resumed his spot as vocalist. Bassist Dimitris Tsonis also left around the same time and was replaced by Pavlos Asimakopoulos. With this lineup, the band went on to participate in several celebrated concerts and festivals during the mid-1980s, along with fellow Greek acts such as VAAL, VICE HUMAN and FLAMES.

To their good fortune, in late 1986 BURNING BLOOD came across Antonis Sarantidis; a capable, Bruce Dickinson-styled wailer who was soon recruited as the new frontman of the band. More concert appearances followed, and as a sidenote it should be mentioned that this is the constellation of members seen on the live show currently available on Youtube. Having built up a comprehensive repertoire of original compositions, BURNING BLOOD now assumed work on a demo tape that was bound for the EMI offices in hope of scoring a record deal. Recorded at multiple studios throughout 1985/86, this tape remains as BURNING BLOOD’s sole “official” release and includes five tracks of solid mid-tempo, US-styled 80s heavy metal. For some reason or another, EMI turned the band down, and the demo was buried for many years to come, although some of the songs – either the original demo tracks or live takes – appears to have circulated throughout the tape trading community (which might explain the many disparate releases that can be found in the band’s discography on Metal-Archives).

BURNING BLOOD kept going for a couple of more years, now with Thanos Kavvadias as bassist as Pavlos had to leave for compulsory military service, performing shows with SPITFIRE and VAAL among others. But the band eventually folded in 1988, with the members pursuing diverging musical paths. Fortunately, we do have about ten original BURNING BLOOD compositions to enjoy, both by grace of the previously mentioned demo tape as well as through different live recordings. Still, one can only wonder how things would have turned out had the band been signed to EMI back in the mid-1980s… For sure, we would have one more classic Greek heavy metal LP to write about!

Compilation appearances:

d i s c o g r a p h y :

Demo 1986 - Demo (Cassette) 1986 - Private (-)
(Recorded in multiple studio facilities circa 1985/1986.)
Details: Demo tape without artwork sent to EMI.

Pray for the Dead
Evil Minded Woman
Sirens of Triumph
I Wanna Live (Fatal Sentence)
Warrant (Warcry)
Antonis Sarantidis (vocals)
Dimitris Paloudis (guitars)
Pavlos Asimakopoulos (bass)
Harris Iliopoulos (drums)

Yet to be reviewed.

(Listen to this recording in full at Hellenic Steel's YouTube channel)