Burst
Lazarus Bird


4.5
superb

Review

by Tyler Munro EMERITUS
September 16th, 2008 | 330 replies | 58,362 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mastodon and Neurosis beating up Rush in a Swedish bar brawl.

“I Hold Vertigo” is what an intentional accident would sound like. It just starts. And then it changes. Then it changes again. The lead track off Burst’s Lazarus Bird, “I Hold Vertigo” is written in a highly entropic fashion; tempos and rhythms change as frequently as the vocals do, which is often; guitars go from crunchy to spaced out -- in short, the song does whatever it feels like, whenever it feels like doing it, and it’s kind of a mess. Even as it seems like there’s no method to the madness, and even when it feels like there’s about fifty thousand and twelve more things going on than necessary, “I Hold Vertigo” is nonetheless somehow captivating, especially in hindsight. This is because it is so diarrhetic that it introduces everything you’ll hear throughout the album without any context or restraint. It’s kind of a cryptic trailer that doesn’t make sense until you get through the finished product, and it would be counter productive had it not been so intriguingly haphazard.

If you’re a little lost, I don’t blame you. I should probably have prefaced the review with some sort of mention about Burst’s past, about how these Swedes came out of the ashes of a crust-grind act and evolved into one of the more interesting progressive metal bands out today. I could probably have mentioned how they effectively blend sludgy post metal with rhythmic prog metal. And now that I have done just that, I -- like “I Hold Vertigo” does relative to Lazarus Bird -- plan to expand upon it.

As the summary suggests, Lazarus Bird is a musical fire that uses elements of Relapse alumni Neurosis and Mastodon as kindling, but to go as far as to call their music imitative would be doing the band an injustice. Yes, the bands penchant for rhythmic shifts does herald Remission-era Mastodon, and yes, their spacier moments to incur comparisons to Neurosis’ The Eye of Every Storm. But acknowledging the influence is doing only half of the work. Burst employ an interesting dynamic with their ability to sound both free and loose and tight and calculated. “Momentum” does its best to support this theory, shifting on a dime between twangy atmospherics and calculated, almost latin-tinged leads and syncopation. “Cripple God” is much the same, employing shaky, rattled vocal work alongside a two guitar line, with one guitar sprinkling quick notes and the other playing a counter-point, all before erupting into a chugging, driving passage. Avoiding the clichéd soft-to-loud technique that plagues the “so hot right now” world of post-metal in favour of this ideologically similar but sonically different sounding loose-to-tight dynamic makes an excellent argument for Burst’s originality. So while they employ sounds reminiscent of other notable acts, they implement them into their own unique formulae, making it more allusive than imitative.

Anyone wondering about how Lazarus Bird stands-up against Origo, I’ll come right out and say it’s just flat out better. Origo may have laid the groundwork down but it was in many ways amateurish and a little too ahead of the band’s abilities. Unlike Origo, the ambient interludes and spaced-out passages do not feel like a mask to undeveloped song-ideas, and while Lazarus Bird is definitely no Onset of Putrefaction, Burst have definitely stepped it up from a technical standpoint. Vocally, Linus Jägerskog continues his upward climb and with guitarist Robert Reinholdz lending the occasional vocal back up, Lazarus Bird features a varied (but not to a fault) blend of shouting, yelling, clean singing and even growling, which is to my knowledge a first for the band. To some the vocals will be a detractor, if not for their variety than possibly for Linus’ Swedish accent, which is never more prominent than in “We Are Dust”. And if his way of pronouncing fire (fah-you’re) gets on your nerves, the bridge that follows is so effective that you’ll soon get over it. That’s because the guitar work is always proficient, whether axe-wielders Robert Reinholdz and Jonas Rydberg are playing a precise lead, chugging along rhythmically or spacing out for minutes at a time. If Brann Dailor was a little less in love with himself and a lot less hopped up on caffeine, he’d probably sound a lot like Patrik Hultin, who’s always noticeably above average but never dominating the music with pushy fills. He, like Jesper Liveröd (who tears it up on the bass) are after-all part of the rhythm section.

All the creativity and proficiency aside, Lazarus Bird is still not an album worthy of classic status. Instead it’s destined to be relegated to the underarms of sweaty metal-geeks worldwide. It has considerable energy and a definite “it-factor” and while it’s not entirely transcendent, it certainly demands attention. Lazarus Bird is an anomaly in the “progressive” metal world in that it’s legitimately progressive and that it doesn’t sound anything like Queensryche.

Highly recommended and without question one of the top releases of 2008.



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user ratings (417)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Tyler
Emeritus
September 16th 2008



7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I really like this. If you dont agree eat me raw.

Shattered_Future
September 16th 2008



1540 Comments


Still needs more time to sink in with me. Feelings after first listen: vocals were passable, guitarwork was quite good, a bit spastic for me, but definitely potential to be one of my favorites of '08.

Tyler
Emeritus
September 16th 2008



7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I didn't really feel it was that spastic. It feels very controlled but somehow really loose. The first song was a little much though, the whole "we're playing Meshuggah just kidding now we're all ambient just kidding now we're heavy again" thing was kind of all over the place. It's between a 4 and 4.5 but I decided to be super generous for a change. Especially since, metal-wise, it's been a shaky year. This Message Edited On 09.16.08

JumpTheF**kUp
September 16th 2008



2710 Comments


Ah nice, didn't know this was out yet.

Tyler
Emeritus
September 16th 2008



7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Came out today. And whoa, did I go an entire review without swearing?

rasputin
September 16th 2008



14540 Comments


Great review Cocaine. I haven't really heard the band before, I may do some investigating now.

Tyler
Emeritus
September 16th 2008



7926 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not sure if I like the tone of the review but whatever. Wish I found a way to make fun of the cover. It's really, really stupid.

Altmer
September 16th 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I guess I should check this out, sounds like it's up my alley.

DBlitz
September 16th 2008



1690 Comments


Nice review, I like Origo a lot, and you are saying its "flat out better", so I'll definitely be checking this out.

EndlessClockwork
September 16th 2008



53 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, being a major fan of Origo, I'm definitely going to have to get this.

BallsToTheWall
September 16th 2008



44194 Comments


^^^ 123. Myspac tracks were pretty solid, i'll be getting this shortly.

Digging: My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge

Thor
September 16th 2008



10186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks so much for telling me about this. One of the most interesting (and awesome) albums I've heard this year.

Neurosis’ The Eye of Every Storm

I'm guessing you just missed putting the album title in italics, just to go with the rest of the review. Nothing major, just something that I noticed.

DBlitz
September 16th 2008



1690 Comments


just finishing up on the album, awesome stuff.

Kage
September 16th 2008



1173 Comments


i was looking forward to this review

i haven't heard this yet but ill listen to it soon

jrowa001
September 16th 2008



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i will probably be listening to this tonight when i buy it. the songs on their myspace are excellent and i cant wait to hear the album from start to finish

Essence
September 16th 2008



3583 Comments


Good review.... though, I like the album cover. This Message Edited On 09.16.08

TheDistantFuture
September 16th 2008



200 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is one of those albums I figure everyone on this site will love, but I just can't enjoy- the music itself is good, but the vocals are mediocre to awful (particularly the cleans), and the songwriting also feels very unfocused to me, while I wasn't nuts about Origo, the brief length kept it from drifting off into space. Not bad, but nothing terribly special either. I might put out a disenchanted review in the next week or so...

Oh and, delicious review.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
September 16th 2008



4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is pretty tight, but the atmosphere on Origo was developed so much better. Needs moar phat beatz.

jimay333
September 16th 2008



433 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've never even heard of this band but I'm down for a listen, thanks to the review.

chewytapeworm
September 16th 2008



492 Comments


Nice review coke I am looking forward to giving this a spin even more now I've read this... If it IS as good as you say it is!!

Burst are good though so I'm sure this will not disappoint!

lol at cripple god



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