Review Summary: Burden of a Day finally come into their own with a record that is melodic, heavy, and above all, a record that exceeds all expectations set forth by their generic debut and its mediocre follow-up.
Burden of a Day are a christian post-hardcore band. At this point, many readers will dismiss this band because of that fact. Going into Burden's third album, Oneonethousand, i was not expecting much after the decent but generic debut Pilots and Paper Planes, and the underwhelming sophomore release Blessed Be Our Ever After. I was pleasantly surprised.
While breaking no new ground, Burden has crafted a very solid album that surpassed all of my expectations. Armed with a new singer and two albums worth of experience under their belts, Oneonethousand might just be the album that they need to distinguish themselves as not "just some underOATH ripoff."
There are several noticeable improvements, many of them simple nuances such as the varied guitar riffs that bring something fresh to a stale genre, but the most prominent, and the one that the band benefits most as a whole from, is the vocals. Kyle Samotaitis brings an extremely nice vocal range from his extremely well done clean singing, to his screams that dont sound forced or autotuned to the point where they are beyond natural recognition.
Another improvement is in the music variety on the album as a whole. A small few of the songs do tend to bleed together, but for the most part, they all have distinct instrumentation and vocal deliveries, which keeps the album fresh and entertaining throughout. Whether its the usually cut-and-dry formula of scream-sing dynamics that are done amazingly well here on the track "Remember," or the slow, plodding, mentally enveloping wall of sound created by instrumental track "Oceans," or even an odd choir style of singing on "Isadora Duncan," Burden has managed to create their most focused piece of art.
For all of the praise i have lauded over this album, there are some minor detractions, the main one being that most of this has been done before, by other bands. That being said, it is incredibly well done, and you'd be hard-pressed to find another band of this caliber today.
While all of the tracks are good, there are certainly a few that stand out, and one or two that might grow boring after a few plays. The lead-off track, entitled "Remember" is one of the stand-out tracks. While solid drumming sets the pace for the skilled guitars, the real highlight of this song is the amazing vocals. Kyle's clean singing is at its best on this track, and as the track seamlessly transitions from sing to scream, the proficiency of the screaming is surprising as well. It isn't overly produced, and has a visceral level of raw power to it that most bands lack. The next highlight comes in the form of the track "Oceans." While only 1 minute, 24 seconds long, the slowly unfolding guitar riff catches your ear as it is backed up my a slow, deliberate drum beat. The track following that is one of the ones that might wear thin after a while. "The Shame In Shedding Wool" is as musically and vocally well done as anything so far, but the lyrics are more openly religious, and while not a bad thing, they might turn off some of the listeners not in this for that aspect. The next major highlight is the title track, and is undoubtedly one of the best tracks in the band's catalogue, with a catchy opening riff that develops towards the song's climax, where some ambient noise along with drumming takes focus, and it leads up to one of the only actual breakdowns on this CD, and very well done one at that. The closer "My Forfeit" is a track that is more or less forgettable. It features sing-scream vocals that are nowhere near as well done as on "Remember," but is still an extremely solid track nonetheless, ending with a predictable but pleasant piano outro.
For what this band is, and what they set out to do, they have largely succeeded in putting together the album of their career so far, and I can honestly say it has rekindled my interest in this band after the disappointing last album. I look forward to seeing what this band has in store next.
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