Review Summary: Burnt By The Sun returns and bows goodbye in their final attempts in modern metal.
Joseph Conrad's mystic tale of turbulent depths in the evolution of modern society sure seemed to be a tedious read in senior year of high school, and a successful attempt to depict everything William Golding's methods displayed in his metaphor of children running aimlessly on an island, but the artistic depiction of the novel's theme does take an incredibly modern approach to emphasize the concepts of the work. Aimed at projecting the ideals of the author, Burnt By The Sun regrouped for what is claimed to be their final attempt at their take on intense progressive hardcore. Certainly, their previous efforts have left many listeners bowing in respect to their wholesome approach, and this release does not see the band stray from a formula that has proved itself to be satisfactory. Broken down piece by piece, this album can be congratulated on its excellent use of beautiful melancholic and dark riffage, streamlined and efficient use of off-rhythm percussion attempts and surely what is considered to be dark (yet successful) howlings of their dear, sweet vocalist.
Sure, the group reunites with their original lineup and the members do what they do best, but in this current state of deathcore this and metal that, it is so refreshing to hear an album that is independently influenced and strives to achieve its own goals and aspirations instead of introducing the "newest and sickest breakdown, brah." With that being said, this album definitely explores aggressive elements and punches the listener in the gut a few times with several thick coats of deep chord progressions and a fine tuned sense of professional production, but the methods of attack here are so smoothly integrated into the tracks that there isn't a separation between the tracks and their low-end elements. Instead there is a constant flow of energy from each track into the next that effortlessly molds the group's attempts at presenting the concepts of a deranged and broken society, in which all has been lost and the evil of mankind has covered civilization in black. Regardless, its great to see that riffs are still in and that the time well spent writing and composing song structures instead of rushing a pathetic record while on the road truly did pay off for the outfit.
With that being said, Burnt By The Sun's return does not necessarily make a huge impact in the world of aggressive hardcore. Sure, the album is an impressive and somewhat triumphant mark in the band's career, but so much has happened since the groups 2003 release "The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good" and with so many albums being released every Tuesday, it's tough to sort through the debris of the modern metal catalogue and truly find a legitimate effort (it has to be said that this was released on the same Tuesday that Emmure's "Felony" found its way to #60 on the billboards...). Even though the band can separate themselves from their peers and prove to be the mentors of the genre, metal giants Mastodon and Suicide Silence completely eclipse the sight of this release and could essentially push the effort away from any glimpse of being in the spotlight. However, at the end of the day it's great to see that solid releases still exist and that all hope is not lost in a saturated scene with everyone and their sister picking up a guitar and tuning it to G. God bless it.