|Add Date:||2003-11-10|| ||Pull Date:||2004-01-12|| ||Charts:||Loud|
|Week Ending:||14 Dec||30 Nov||23 Nov||16 Nov|
Burst – Prey on Life (Relapse Records)|
Metallic-hardcore. Not emo, not emo-core, but still emotional, with an excellent control of dynamics (think Opeth), and very varied instrumentation. Growled, NWOSDM vocals, but decipherable; odd-sounding drums, I thought they were far too plastic-y or acoustic sounding on some songs, but you get used to it, and it becomes an integral part of the songs later on. The guitars verge a bit closely on ATG worship, and the guitar harmonies are pretty standard for this kind of music, but they’re still very well done. Some of the melodies here are truly mind-boggling. Intensely complex, in the vein of NBC-era Soilwork, but also intensely melodic, they even remind me of Locus Factor. Still, it’s the sense of dynamics that makes this a keeper. The songs switch between total metal and punk-infused post-rock on a dime (think Pale Folklore-era Agalloch, Oceanic-era Isis), and there are some awesome chord progressions in the backgrounds of most songs coupled with fantastic keyboard work to really make the atmosphere work. A lot of the times it’s not complexity or technicality that’s at work, but instead an interesting pattern/riff/rhythm that’s just repeated ‘till it becomes hypnotic. There are also tons of vocal FX that add to the overall “odd” factor. This is just really, really good, although it does take some time to pick through all the complexities and intricacies.
1) Intro, cool, nice acoustic guitars and drums that fade into the next song.
2) Staccato opening riff followed by acoustic guitar strumming layered over some nice Maiden-ish dual guitar work. Morphs into a repeated rhythm/riff that’s totally kick-ass, and then it becomes all acoustic with growled vocals, and then back to the staccato riff. Awesome.
3) Even better than the last, this one starts out sounding like some math-rock type riff, and then does the requisite transformation to cool melodic guitar lines over driving rhythms. Finally enters into a sludgy territory with double bass, and ends, almost too abruptly.
4) A little more traditional hardcore sounding with an excellent, driving bass line and cymbals. Almost quaint in it’s underlying melodies, but still crushes.
5) More metal sounding, and then becomes total Opeth worship. Vocal FX to make him sound like he’s underwater, and then vocal layering to make it seem like there are 30 of him.
6) Instrumental, starts out with just drums and guitars, and then slowly adds guitars, guitars, bass, guitars, keyboards, one by one, until it’s a massive wall of gorgeous melodic post-apocalyptic sound. It’s like a tease, actually, because the instruments go in and out of the mix several times until they’re all settled, and then they all go out again, until it’s just an acoustic guitar and fading drums. Beautiful.
7) Starts with acoustic guitar strumming, and then crashes with the melody and the beauty and some clean vocals that actually work. Standout dual-guitar harmonies give way to some emo-ish wailing, but it’s all good because it’s just the vocal FX that make it seem that way; the riffing to end the song is pure fuckin’ metal!
8) More metal than your mother, if she was made of metal.
9) Still very metal, some solid guitar wankery, and awesome, just awesome harmonies. The palm muted guitars in the interlude work line none other.
10) More mellow intro, and the guitar work is just beyond amazing. So pretty, pretty, in a heavy sort of way. They even do a guitar solo, almost. Great song. Fades into...
11) The final instrumental, it’s really just experimental noise with a piano, acoustic guitar, and what sounds like a bad drum machine, but it works. Quaint, mellow, think of the bleakness after a huge storm.