Review Summary: Distant and bleak, a perfect musical realisation of a bitter outlook on a bitter world.
Before listening to Is.Land, you should prepare in several ways. Firstly, get rid of all happy thoughts, Time To Burn will destroy them completely otherwise. Next, set fire to something in the room and rip down all the wallpaper – it helps with the atmosphere. You could also try murdering an ex-girlfriend/wife of your choosing to put yourself in the right frame of mind, though that is optional. Lastly, and most importantly, turn the volume up and hold on tight, because Is.Land is a fu
cking huge, crushing entity, and is just about ready to destroy your frame of mind.
That last statement comes off as slightly hyperbolic, but when listening to Is.Land it’s a pretty good description. First and foremost, Time To Burn are absolutely crushing without a doubt, there’s no other way to go about it. Their post metal / hardcore / screamo / whatever the hell you want to call it pretty much destroys most other contemporary music out there in terms of sheer heaviness (not to be confused with ‘brutality’). While the music might not be as technically crazy or the vocals as gutturally demonic as a brutal death metal band, Time To Burn’s sound is full of grit and atmosphere, which coupled with the crazed and enraged shrieking and the paranoid insubstantial half whispers gives Is.Land a constantly choking and unrelentingly oppressing atmosphere.
The first few moments of the album hint at an all of this like the prelude to an oncoming storm, with distant dissonant guitar lines that only give a glimpse of what is to come. Soon after, huge (and I mean really huge) riffs are introduced, distorting the noise around them (including the screams of the singer) and bringing everything to a breathtaking climax within the first two minutes. After this, ‘Nayeli’ simply continues the onslaught, as does every other song on the album. But Time To Burn don’t keep to one tempo or style, throughout the fourty minute playing time of Is.Land Time To Burn pace things, slowing it down at times with doom like riffs, or ambient post-metal build ups, either slow and powerful or quiet and menacing, never relenting on the paranoid and bitter ambience that surrounds the release.
In essence, Time To Burn have crafted an almost perfect realisation of an utterly bitter and bleak outlook on life. Is.Land’s greatest victory is the feeling it instils in the listener, that of constant foreboding menace and dread, it chokes and it chokes until the final chapter finally relents for a brief moment, eventually leaving you numb - and that's the feeling that makes you come back again and again.