Album Review: Burnt Church

Review by Ian Kean

First off , before I even had a chance to listen to the songs on this EP I was already impressed by the band. All the members of Burnt Church I have seen in other kick ass metal bands over the years and all the logos and art work I could find associated with the band were well done and very very metal, plus I actually saw these guys live just last week and enjoyed their aggression and live energy very much. I've always enjoyed metal much more in a live setting then on a recording so i was interested to have a listen and see how it held up again their live show.

The first thing I noticed about the album, was how short all the songs were. With the longest one at a mere 2.22 and the whole 10 songs coming in at under 18 minutes I knew I was in for a treat of frantic, dirty in your face metal with no extended break downs, unnecessary intro's or over the top solos which too many metal bands seem to focus on - just wicked riffs and crushing blast beats and that's exactly what this album delivered.

Right from the opening track "Birds of Prey" Burnt Church mix equals parts sludgy with equal parts grind and top the whole thing off with old style trash riffing and vocals .All though the vocals are exactly what they should be I was left wishing they were a little clearer and higher in the mix and after many listens I still can't make out a single lyric but most hardcore headbangers will argue to the death that vocals come second to the music so i tried not to get too hung up on the fact that I'll never know what the hell these guys are screaming about. The track "Cthulha Lies Dreaming" was the vocal highlight for me on this album. The song is a little slower and sludgy then the rest of the tracks and the vocal delivery/ placement in the slower parts sounds huge and crushing, fitting the music perfectly and painting mental images somewhere along the lines of cherub stomping the pope.

I'd have to say my favorite track on the album is the longest track "Fire in the house of the Lord" .With a semi catchy opening section that I can't help but head bang to coupled with the insane blast of the next section before the vocals come in, and the wicked guitar towards the end make it a little more appealing to me than the "fast as you can " song structure found on some of the shorter, more punk influenced tracks.I'm sure there are those who would disagree with me on that one and would probably prefer the shorter tracks like "Social Sickness" or "Our Home" for their grind/punk influence and overall kick in the teeth aggression.

Although the production value is nothing to get excited about the whole thing comes off with that D.I.Y attitude that many metal fans love and even expect out of their favorite underground and local metal acts. Sure the album could sound better and clearer then it does but would it have the same intensity and attitude that let the listener know this isn't a bunch of guys put together to sell records ..Probably not .In some cases its better to hear what the band actually sounds like instead of how polished their recordings sound and I feel this album is a great representation of what I heard when i saw this band live. Their Myspace page tells me that their next show is April 9th at Gus' pub so grab some beers and friends and get your asses in the pit.


No comments: