(NCS writer Israel Flanders shines our spotlight on the discography of The Burning.)
Since plans have not gone as smoothly as expected (still don’t have Vader and Aliases for review yet), I had a special article in the bag that seemed good to do now. I’m going to introduce you to a band called The Burning from Denmark. I will do mini-reviews of all three of their albums and, with the band’s permission, provide you with a download of their discography. THIS WILL ONLY BE UP FOR A WEEK, SO GRAB THIS WHILE IT’S HOT! I really want to thank and give a shout out to the guys in the band for allowing me to do this — it’s a huge honor.
The Burning started their foray into the metal world with this debut, titled Storm The Walls. Let’s establish what sets The Burning apart here, or what’s noteworthy: This is a heavily groove-oriented band, this is a band who have prided themselves on their consistency in having only one guitarist, and this is a band who honors the craft of straight-forward, pummeling songwriting. (more after the jump . . .)
The Burning started out playing straight-to-the-point metalcore in the vein of the 90’s, such as Merauder, but interjecting modern melodic conventions. It’s an effective formula on the band’s debut. The riffs are powerful, simple, and to the point, per the band’s mission. When the opening salvo of “Underachivers Unite” blasts through your speakers, it’s obvious these guys are out for blood. There is an evident thrash influence in the music, as there is on all the following albums. You could call this the foundation of their sound, as the next two albums completely switch gears around this thrash base.
Johnny Rotten has an abrasive yell that’s full of piss and vinegar. Bassist and drummer Tobias Nefer and Tobias Host, respectively (yes, they have the same first name), may be one of the most powerful rhythm sections in metal right now. These two are so in-the-pocket together, it’s as if they were made for each other. On this album, guitars are handled by Rasmus Normand, who also actually did some time in Panzerchrist. He left The Burning after this album was released.
Following the debut that was gaining the band a bit of a cult following, The Burning recruited current guitarist Alex Kjeldsen into the fold and began work on their followup. The Reawakening revealed a completely different sense of direction for the band. It’s also the album through which I first discovered them.
The Reawakening ditches all the metalcore in favor of a groovy style of death metal, with some thrash elements still present. A lot of crossover elements are also present on songs such as the opener, “They Came From The North”. But then you have trudging mammoths like “Eight Legged Omen”, or the swinging southern waltz of “Evangelical Cannibal” — all beneath a new found diversity in Johnny Rotten’s vocal approach. Bringing abysmal lows into his vocal attack gives the music much-needed accent and contrast.
Alex Kjeldsen also adds a very tasteful, unique sense of riffing that has really stuck with me. The man makes a lot out of a little, and considering he’s the only guitarist and has considerable space to fill, I’m impressed with what he does. I also admire The Burning’s musical honesty, incorporating solos with no rhythm guitars under them whatsoever. Moments such as those achieved by the solo in “Eight Legged Omen” are just fucking cool and have a certain, dare I say, … swag to them? We’ll go with that. This is a pretty visceral album though, and one of the best of its kind — if there is even anything else out there like it.
Hail The Horde is currently The Burning’s most recent album (sampled in one of the site’s MISCELLANY posts here). This album reveals yet another drastic stylistic change, shifting over to a style COMPLETELY comprised of groove metal and crossover. The death metal elements, even in the vocals, make very few appearances. The music is once again recognizably The Burning, but the album reveals a different side of them.
The single “Bait The Hook” is catchy and infectious, with a chorus that even introduces some very, very slight, half-dirty/half-clean vocal action. Crossover numbers such as “The Nihilist Life” have a thrash feel, yet a punk attitude that’s cool. There is even a kind of stoner doom feel in a song called “Baptized In Bongwater”. This album I would say is driven more by energy and aggression than the brutality found on the one that preceded it.
I hope you enjoy these guys as much as I do — they are one of Denmark’s best kept secrets. Enjoy the disco, and if you like these albums, please buy them, ’cause I’m pretty sure your money will actually go to The Burning, and they deserve our support.
NOTE: The following download links will only be active through August 9.