Karma To Burn
Karma to Burn


5.0
classic

Review

by kangaroopoo USER (2 Reviews)
June 1st, 2010 | 13 replies | 6,493 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 13 years on, Karma To Burn is still one of the coolest sounding records ever made.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Dirty, fat 70’s Sabbath riffs coupled with brooding, eerie vocals generate a foreboding atmosphere that is Karma To Burn’s distinct and excellent 1997 self-titled debut. Any forays into their subsequent releases may be met with disappointment as they are almost entirely instrumental, more one dimensional and lacking atmosphere. The 90’s saw a 70’s Sabbath inspired Stoner Rock and metal grooves and blues movement. Kyuss were the best but there were many other great releases during this time from acts such as Corrosion of Conformity, Down, Monster Magnet, Fu Manchu and Floodgate (checkout their one and only release Penalty form 1996).

Karma To Burn’s sound is most reminiscent of C.O.C and Down. Whilst Kyuss take you on an odyssey through the desert and beyond, KTB ventures underground and explores the darker side of humanity. This is a flawless album which moves effortlessly from track to track with each song containing seamless transitions between light and shade. Karma To Burn remains a laid back journey with an underlying seediness and tension as you take in an array of sights from the criminal underworld and serial killers to wild sex parties, and then onto Ancient Indian Burial Grounds. This is what the music has evoked in my mind anyway.

KTB is an experience which delves beneath the surface to make your skin crawl. Few bands can create an overbearing cinematic soundscape like Neurosis, although KTB go a long way albeit in a more cruisy and economical manner. KTB also take you through the gamut of emotions: melancholy, sorrow, hurt, indifference, serenity, humour, arrogance, mysticism, eroticism, danger and debauchery.

Whether a song is vocal or instrumental, reverberates between light and shade, or just builds to a crushing climax, they all convey their emotions effectively. The vocals range between ugly, murky, sexy, cruisy, haunting and menacing. Beautiful, eerie female vocals are also used to great effect. Every track is a winner and most of the song titles alone are great value – ‘Mt. Penetrator’. If I had to pick standouts, then it’s the tribal beats and chants and climactic breakout of ‘Patty Hurst’s Closet Mantra’, the straight-up dirty rock outs ‘Six-Gun Sucker Punch’ and ‘Twin Sisters and Half a Bottle of Bourbon’, and the emotive bluesy crescendos of instrumental ‘Thirteen’.

13 years on, Karma To Burn is still one of the coolest sounding records ever made. It doesn’t have the pace of 80’s thrash giants nor the heaviness and explosiveness of a lot of metal, but it isn’t overtly derivative and scientifically formulated like some breaching the periphery of copyright. This baby exudes ambience and breathes organically.


user ratings (22)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Disconnected
June 1st 2010



485 Comments


Nice review. I think I'll check out this album sometime soon.

kangaroopoo
June 1st 2010



3175 Comments


Thanks mate. It's one of those albums that continues to resonate each time I listen to it.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 1st 2010



7165 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Their new album is decent. I might check this one out. Good review!

Digging: Floor - Oblation

bodiesinflight57
June 1st 2010



866 Comments


Was there seriously no review of this before!? Poor stuff Sputnik.

SteelErectedb4you8er
June 1st 2010



2612 Comments


Awesome that someone reviewed some Karma to Burn, love these guys! You seriously didn't like the instrumental albums? Almost Heathen has some serious riffs and grooves on it.

kangaroopoo
June 1st 2010



3175 Comments


I love a good instrumental, however, quality vocals add so much to the dynamics of an entire album. I
own ...Heathen and ...Purgatory and it's my love of Karma To Burn's debut and the emotion attached to
the disappointment I had over how much it contrasted to their follow-ups that underrates them. I've
always found instrumental bands like Pelican to come up short. I'm not saying the music isn't quality,
I'm just someone who likes a good vocal input to sustain the interest and variety for an entire album.

Inveigh
October 6th 2010



24196 Comments


this sounds really cool

nice review, poo

Digging: Symptom - Caverns Of Katabasis

BigHans
October 6th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I liked this on first listen, definitely meets the manly requirement.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 6th 2010



7165 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Mario Lali from Fatso Jetson is in this band, which transforms into this band rules really hard.

BigHans
October 6th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album cover rules hard

BigHans
October 6th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Six Gun Sucker Punch is easily the best song on here.

kangaroopoo
October 6th 2010



3175 Comments


Songs, titles and cover very manly.

Yeah, 'six-gun sucker punch' rocks hard.

BigBlob
April 10th 2014



1449 Comments


ugh. singing on a karma to burn album....



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