Burst
Prey on Life


4.0
excellent

Review

by Karl V.H. USER (85 Reviews)
May 18th, 2008 | 76 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Prey on Life is a wonderful metal album, full of minute details that will leave the more ambitious metalhead satisfied.

Something I always strive for when I seek out new bands is a sense of uniqueness. But I’m always thinking whenever I find one of these unique sounding bands, “Are there ten other bands that I have never heard of that sound exactly like this?”. Even though this may be the case for a lot of my recent discoveries in heavy metal, one band has stood above the rest during the few years I’ve been listening to them. Burst’s Relapse Records debut may not hit on all levels of expert musicianship, but I can tell you right now that they are incredibly difficult to classify. For that fact alone, I give them points for being so original and yet so accessible to any metalhead who is willing to take a chance. Their music can’t be summed up by just saying they are simply metal or metalcore or hardcore or whatever genre is relevant at this moment of time. They are a band that has carved out their own little niche through their two more heavily post hardcore influenced albums Loss of Innocence and the stellar Conquest: Writhe. Prey on Life simply builds on these two albums in a well orchestrated manner and does away with some of these more generic genre classifications. Firstly, the overall song structures don’t sound as forced; rather they glide gently over well layered tight guitaring, drums, bass and moody tid-bits of instrumental genius (piano, acoustic guitar) thrown in for good measure. Secondly, their overall song writing has matured significantly, giving this album excellent replay value. Prey on Life lifts off and becomes a monster on its own with these new, revamped improvements.

What their previous two albums hinted at, this album accomplishes in many ways far and above them. Their carefully crafted songs each delve into atmosphere, whether it’s a chaotic or tranquil moment, the band focuses strongly on writing their songs around this aspect. These guys really know how to play around with the load/ soft dynamics that so many bands try to utilize today. It’s a rather cliché type of music production seeing as the list of loud/ soft dynamic bands is huge. Burst know the right times when it’s appropriate to employ this technique and it really works out well for them on the entirety of the album. Songs like ‘Crystal Asunder’ and ‘Undoing (Prey for Life)’ use this atmosphere like a sharp knife, carving out fast, sporadic whirlwind tunes and all the while keeping a razor-sharp focus on the mood of that particular tune. Also, each song has its own unique feel because of this element, ensuring that this album never becomes boring with great replay value.

All of the songs on this album are exemplary examples of strong guitar skills. Not one note is wasted in a sense that recycled guitar lines are pretty much none-existent on here. The riffs are very smooth while transition points in the songs act like the glue instead of filler, holding the songs together despite the lack of formulaic structures (intro/verse/chorus etc.). One thing a lot of ‘guitar techies’ might notice is the wide range of pedals and distortions the bands utilizes to add even more discovery to the album. These many guitar effects add to the atmosphere previously mentioned while adding a new dimension of flavour to their already jam packed sound. Think of the guitar as the staple to the songs while the atmosphere seamlessly adds in that extra bit of texture to make the songs sparkle. Even the tempos of the songs, created through these two features, change rapidly and sporadically throughout each song and are accompanied by fine performances by the bassist and drummer to help change the direction of the tunes. The only drawback to this album is the vocal delivery and the lack of sung melodies that are merely touched upon that should have been used further throughout the songs. The raw and choppy nature of the vocals might remind one of Jacob Bannon’s vocal delivery on Converge albums, except in this case, the lyrics are at least better understood.

All in all, Burst are only touching on their full potential with this album, easily topping it with its predecessor Origo. Still, you have to wonder why creative bands like this hide in the shadows and never get the recognition they deserve. Bands that claim they are unique are a dime a dozen and Burst have simply sat back and watched (and barely toured for that matter) all of these metal bands rise above them while personally, I think they should be on top of the pack. For a band that is so relatively young and yet so much better than most, I admire you for taking chances in a world where metal critiques are harsh and metalhead’s are even harsher. For the ‘metally challenged’, this album may have too much creativity for you. For the metalhead ‘risk-takers’ out there, this album has your name written all over it.



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user ratings (102)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Wizard
May 18th 2008


19437 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Back on track now!

Digging: Nightbringer - Ego Dominus Tuus

72haha72
June 7th 2008


436 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This sounds pretty interesting, I'll check this out

Burn2Burn
June 7th 2008


2378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review man, I really enjoyed it. This band is definitely in a league of their own for the metalcore scene. I usually get bored of metalcore after a few listens, but this doesn't phase me, and the same goes for Origo. I think a little bit more description of the songs would be sweet though. My favorites off this album are Vortex and The Foe Sublime.


These guys really know how to play around with the load/ soft dynamics that so many bands try to utilize today.

Just curios what this even is hehe.

The raw and choppy nature of the vocals might remind one of Jacob Bannon’s vocal delivery on Converge albums, except in this case, the lyrics are at least better understood.

That's exactly what I thought when I listened to this album, haha.

DBlitz
June 7th 2008


1690 Comments


I have Origo and enjoy it, should I get this one?

Burn2Burn
June 8th 2008


2378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yes, definitely. They are both pretty similar (and excellent), but Origo is just a hint better. If you liked it, you'll still love this one.

72haha72
June 8th 2008


436 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If I enjoyed albums like "A Sun That Never Sets" and "Panopticon" would I enjoy this one?

Wizard
June 8th 2008


19437 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just curios what this even is hehe.

I'm just generalizing the fact that so many bands try to play around with these dynamics and fail miserably.

I have Origo and enjoy it, should I get this one?

Origo kicks this one right out of the water.

If I enjoyed albums like "A Sun That Never Sets" and "Panopticon" would I enjoy this one?

Yes, except Burst's songs are not drawn out with atmosphere. They tend to wrap up what Neurosis and Isis do into a little package. Lots of atmosphere to be found, just short and to the point.

Thanks for the compliments!





72haha72
June 18th 2008


436 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Origo is superb!!
This weekend I'll be sure to buy this CD
by the way, muchas gracias for introducing me to Neurosis and Burst

Wizard
June 18th 2008


19437 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hahaha Really? I thought Neurosis were pretty common but apparently not. No problem dude!

If your trying to find an album by Neurosis that you will get into quickly (seeing as people think they drag on and on), check out Given to the Rising. Probably their easiest stuff to get into (and yet its still as stubborn as their old stuff in some spots hahaha).

Super NES rules!

72haha72
June 18th 2008


436 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hahaha nothing like super nes :D

I read your "Given to the Rising" review and made me want to check them out. I bought A Sun that Never Sets and was an orgasmic experience. This weekend I'll be getting some brand new CD's, hope I find Given to the Rising this time.

Any other recommendations? I'm very open-minded when it comes to music

Wizard
June 18th 2008


19437 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hahahaha A Sun that Never Sets is ridiculously good (especially "Stones from the Sky", the album closer). Given to the Rising is their second best compared to The Eye of Every Storm which is one of my favourite albums of all time. Really mellow for Neurosis but its still phenomenal. I listen to quite a bit of post-metal stuff. Heres what I would recommend if your into this sub genre:

Isis - Panopticon and In the Absence of Truth
Rosetta - Wake/Lift
Pelican - The Fire In Our Throats Wil Beckon The Thaw
Neurosis - Enemy of the Sun and Times of Grace

Those are some of the bigger post metal bands going today (I'm sure I've missed a few).

72haha72
June 19th 2008


436 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ok, I'll be looking for some Rosetta and Pelican.
I got Panopticon a few weeks ago and it also blew me away. That's why I'm looking for more of this music, I discovered it recently but fell in love with it!
Ever heard of Cult of Luna or maudlin of the Well? I also discovered those 2 bands recently and it's really superb stuff!

Essence
June 19th 2008


3585 Comments


Pelican is amazing. Amazing amazing amazing. Though, not as good as butter.

Wizard
June 19th 2008


19437 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Salvation and Somewhere Along the Highway are two of my favourite albums. I knew I was missing something.

Pelican has this really flat sound that took me a long time to get used to. They need to thicken up their sound.......along the same line of consistency as BUTTER.
Will this joke ever end? This Message Edited On 06.19.08

Essence
June 19th 2008


3585 Comments


No, probably not, much to the dismay of Electric City. He should really lighten up. Maybe eat some butter.

AngelPhoenix
June 19th 2008


2764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, if he wanted to lighten up then he would need some margarine...

This would be my poor attempt at getting a piece of the only really good running joke on sputnik lol

Wizard
June 19th 2008


19437 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well said Angel.

And yes, I agree that Electric needs some buttering up.

Essence
June 19th 2008


3585 Comments


Why? Why do people constantly throw that heathen name around? I spent four hundred years of my life creating butter. (Yep, I created butter. Run with it) Now, those pansy-*** margarine tools are trying to take my thunder!

Burn2Burn
June 19th 2008


2378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I still can't believe it's not butter.

Essence
June 19th 2008


3585 Comments


That is because it is concentrated evil! Stay away from the impostors.



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