Black Light Burns
Cruel Melody


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (93 Reviews)
September 2nd, 2013 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Limp Bizkit alum delivers an impressive industrial debut.

Regardless of what anyone thinks of Limp Bizkit, there is no denying that Wes Borland is a talented guitarist. While listening to Limp Bizkit’s first record, I found myself enjoying Wes’ guitar playing over anything else. Wes got a chance to flex his muscles in the debut for his side project Black Light Burns. Cruel Melody is an incredibly promising debut that combines industrial and electronic rock into an impressive thirteen song package. It may be a little flawed, but it’s still a fun, catchy, and energetic record overall.

The record’s sound is undeniably reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails. Tracks like Lie and The Mark could literally be taken right off a Nine Inch Nails record. Wes even sounds like Trent Reznor at many points on Cruel Melody. Despite sounding like their fellow industrial band, Black Light Burns manages to sustain their own identity through fantastic guitar work, vocal delivery, and even moments of soothing beauty. Wes’ guitar work doesn’t disappoint even in the slightest because most of his riffs are catchy and memorable. The infectious guitar riff at about the one minute mark in I Have a Need defines Wes’ skill as a musician and sets up the mood for the angst ridden chorus perfectly. The lyrics really bring to mind a serial killer’s need to terrorize his victims and his vocal delivery is fitting. Wes’ voice may not be particularly unique or mature, but his voice is perfect for the atmosphere of the record and the point he’s trying to make. His lyrics are extremely personal and really makes you wonder about what demons he had to deal with.

Most of the songs on Cruel Melody are incredibly catchy and stay in your head. The Mark is definitely the biggest example of how catchy the album can be. The way Wes delivers “so cut out the heart/and watch the world burn down/let’s tear it apart/let’s leave a mark!” is brilliant. However, these lyrics also reveal the record’s major flaw: the lyrics. Many of the lyrics are disappointingly inconsistent. They range from the fantastic lyrics of I Have A Need to the cringe worthy lyrics of Stop A Bullet. Despite the inconsistency, his lyrics rarely could be called poor. The music is the album’s savior from any inconsistency in his lyrics and Wes’ musical talent is best displayed in the final two tracks.

I Am Where It Takes Me is a beautiful song driven by an epic drum beat, soothing vocals, and fantastic ambiance. The ambiance provides an extra layer of texture to the song’s soaring atmosphere as somber guitars fill your ears throughout the song. After this beautiful song, we come to the hauntingly soothing Iodine Sky. While at the same time another display of Wes’ amazing work with ambiance, it’s also essentially a haunting lullaby completely devoid of lyrics. It may be repetitive, but that is also the beauty of it. Imagine walking through a post apocalyptic setting. You enter an abandoned banding looking for supplies. You open drawers and find nothing as the soothingly bleak piano and electronics play in the background. It really is the perfect soundtrack to a setting like this. What a way to end an album.

Any fans of Nine Inch Nails should definitely not pass this album up. It is a surprisingly consistent release for the Limp Bizkit alum. Once this album is done, you will want to jump right into Black Light Burn’s next release because of the sheer potential this album displayed. It’s an awesome industrial electronic rock album that still remains overlooked.



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Chart.
3.6
great
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Comments:Add a Comment 
tommygun
September 2nd 2013


25413 Comments


good shit mongi! pos

Sapient.
September 2nd 2013


1109 Comments


yeah, Wes Borland is awesome, pretty much the sole reason I can listen to any of Limp Bizkit's material

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 2nd 2013


11794 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys! Yea when listening to that album I found myself literally saying shut up fred let me hear Wes play! haha

Digging: Rishloo - Living as Ghosts with Buildings as Teeth

DrGonzo1937
September 2nd 2013


6833 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review Mongi.

These guys are definately one of my favourite bands at the mo.

Digging: Marilyn Manson - The Pale Emperor

DrGonzo1937
September 2nd 2013


6833 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The NIN's/Trent comparisions are very true imo too. On this record anyway.

avonbarksdale221
September 2nd 2013


8265 Comments


Nice stuff man, pos.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 2nd 2013


11794 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks! Even if u guys don't like industrial stuff or have never heard this I still recommend listening to the final two tracks I mentioned.

avonbarksdale221
September 2nd 2013


8265 Comments


Just gave I Am Where It Takes Me a listen, good stuff.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 2nd 2013


11794 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool dude glad you liked it

thumbcrusher
September 2nd 2013


3607 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah this is pretty good

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only by Fire

MrxSelfxDestruct
September 2nd 2013


495 Comments


Limp Bizkit alumni


Insta-skepticism

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 2nd 2013


11794 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You talking about being skeptical about him being in LB or how I worded that?

MrxSelfxDestruct
September 2nd 2013


495 Comments


I was questioning the quality of this work based on his affiliation with a terrible group.

Just being an ignoramus. I haven't listened to any industrial in a long while, I owe it to my namesake to check this out.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 2nd 2013


11794 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh ok haha dude I really dislike that group too and I was skeptical too. Don't be turned off by it. Wes really is a very talented dude. Sounds nothing like LB. If you want, listen to I Am Where It Takes Me first. You're opinion will change trust me.

DrGonzo1937
September 3rd 2013


6833 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

MrxSelfxDestruct, LB music is actually ok. It's Durst that shits on it.

But regardless, if you're basing BLB on LB then you're seriously missing out.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 6th 2014


11794 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Such a fun, awesome listen. Wes accomplished so fantastic stuff on this record and it's so underrated.

DrGonzo1937
September 7th 2014


6833 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Whole band is underrated. This album friggin slays

BassDemon333
September 7th 2014


3415 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Such a great record. So many great tracks and the industrial feel is awesome. Wes really needs to make another one like this.

DrGonzo1937
September 7th 2014


6833 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice dig, man.

I think at this point, he should mix this sort of sound with Lotus Island's experimentation. But I read an interview which says this debuts sound wasn't what he was after, so I wouldn't hold my breath on anything like this coming again.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 7th 2014


11794 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Aww what a shame cause he really shows how talented he is here. A lot of this stuff is mostly himself too. BLB might as well just be a pseudonym



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