Review Summary: Criminally overlooked
Between the strictly metalcore outing Conquest: Writhe
and the highly progressive Prey on Life
, Burst released a relatively unknown transition EP, 2002's In Coveting Ways
, and this EP makes their evolution from a clearly talented -core band to the prog-metal juggernauts they would become in later years feel like a completely natural progression.
Sonically, In Coveting Ways
keeps most traits from its predecessor but expands on them subtly with incredibly effective results. Conquest
itself already wasn’t your standard metalcore record. It shared most of the genre’s typical traits (distorted guitar jabs, fierce drumming and vocals) but added some nuances that separated them from similar acts (drifting between melody and dissonance with ease, no breakdowns
). On its own, it was a fantastic release that proved that, worst case scenario, Burst could’ve kept churning out the same album over and over for the rest of their career and be set. In Coveting Ways
proved that’s not at all what they wanted to do, and thankfully so.
The seamless switching between melody and dissonance plays a much larger role here, with melody taking up most of the spotlight. ‘Scavenger’ already shows the band in uncharted waters with a soothing clean guitar intro, and as a whole ‘Scavenger’ is a good representation of what you’ll find on this EP. The main riff welcomes comparisons to Fluxion
-era The Ocean and it progresses as a post-metal song would, only having a handful of riffs but expanding and building upon them until the song’s amazing climax.
On a heavier note, ‘Black but Shining’ would fit comfortably on Conquest: Writhe
– two-and-a-half minutes of intense blast beating and fierce riffs that verge on death metal at times. ‘Ars Diavoli (The Devil in Me)’ is clearly the most energetic of the bunch mainly due to Patrik Hultin’s superb drum work and strong hardcore feel. The two bonus re-issue tracks are great as well, showing the straightforward metalcore style of Burst from their earlier split with Lash Out, Forsaken, Not Forgotten
In Coveting Ways
isn’t quite perfect, though. ‘Paradise Regained’, while not bad by any means, doesn’t do much to differentiate itself from the others. Also, at only 20-minutes (16 without the re-issue tracks), the EP doesn’t really have a chance to leave a lasting impression. However, it didn’t need to be any longer to show Burst’s huge advancement in sound. As a stepping stone for later releases, In Coveting Ways
remains an important and criminally overlooked album in their wholly impressive discography.