Karma To Burn
Arch Stanton


3.7
great

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
August 16th, 2014 | 24 replies


Release Date: 08/18/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The resurrection of Karma To Burn

When the members of Karma To Burn reconciled and regrouped back in 2009, every fan was stoked for new material. Since the band called it a day shortly after dropping their magnum opus, Almost Heathen, people expected to be some power left in the engine (or at the very best, a full battery recharge). However, Appalachian Incantation failed to match the visceral sound of their late 90s-early 00s tunes, while the next affair, V, was rushed and inconsistent. The two LPs caused some mixed reactions as to whether these guys are still trying to push forward or just rehash the past like many other veteran acts tend to do nowadays. Furthermore, disaster stroke when drummer Rob Oswald and bassist Rich Mullins disappeared from the line-up, thus raising several questions regarding the future too.

Nevertheless, guitar mastermind Will Mecum recruited Evan Devine and Rob Halkett to tour and ultimately record the new album. Oddly enough, then came the unexpected. Arch Stanton is the resurrection these guys needed in order to feel vital again. With only nine tracks and a total run time of 37 minutes, this is all you need to rebuild your faith in Karma To Burn. Each cut manages to retain the energy and power we were used to hear when listening to these guys. The best examples are the opening track, '57' and '54', who both share a good dose of dirty, pile driving, Southern-inspired boogie grooves. The fat riffs are complemented by several alternating drum patterns and gritty bass lines. The hard stomping, '23' along with the scorching, '55' offer the much needed diversity, with various tempo changes and crunchy rhythms. Luckily, the mood is always shifting and for the first time in over a decade the band manages to constantly churn catchy riffs. Another highlight, the closing track, '59' starts with the famous "Do you know what you are??" excerpt from classic western, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly's finale, only to burst into a trashy lead over a marching snare drum. Several lines from the movie are inserted throughout the tune, when it tones down for the middle segment. It finally picks up towards the end, delivering a blistering coda. The tune is the perfect ending for the album and classifies as one of their most solid in a long time.

In the end, it's hard to say if Mecum needed new members on board to once more deliver a tight record. I'm saying this because after all, Oswald and Mullins helped create their best stuff to date and they are some skilled musicians. Maybe all the touring and rehearsing with the new members led to a newfound creativity, who knows? Either way, Arch Stanton feels like a new beginning for the band and hopefully this recharge will lead to a new opus. Dig it!




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user ratings (13)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2014


3440 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Oswald retired and Mullins disappeared. Nevertheless, this is a great record.

55 (Official Video) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDSzbh1TK1g

Digging: Mark Lanegan - Phantom Radio

JohnnyOnTheSpot
August 16th 2014


1143 Comments


Have't heard a decent stoner album in a while so I'll peep this. Nice review

Digging: Clive Brooks - Ambient I: Blue Aegean

emester
August 16th 2014


3895 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Loved Almost Heathen. Cant wait to give this a go

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2014


6193 Comments


Good review Raul, the album is streaming at Spotify, so I will give it a go in due time.

Digging: Alkoholizer - Free Beer... Surf's Up!!!

ExplosiveOranges
August 16th 2014


3130 Comments


Good review Raul, the album is streaming at Spotify, so I will give it a go in due time. [2]

Digging: Winterfylleth - The Divination Of Antiquity

greg84
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2014


7417 Comments


The track you linked is great. I need to give it a whirl.

Digging: Dope Body - Lifer

Wolfhorde
August 16th 2014


13643 Comments


So.. is this better than the last album? Because that was kind of a fluke.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2014


3440 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Yup, this is a great album Wolfhorde. V was a fluke indeed, but this is the best since Almost Heathen.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find more tracks on Youtube, but if you guys can access Spotify that's great. I don't have Spotify in Romania, meh...

Wolfhorde
August 16th 2014


13643 Comments


Sweet digs, will give this a spin later.

eyehategod
August 16th 2014


991 Comments


wow is this ever good

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2014


6193 Comments


I don't have Spotify in Romania

Spotify came to Greece in late '13, so it will hit Romania in due time.

Wolfhorde
August 16th 2014


13643 Comments


Whoa, this has a lot more energy than I would've expected.

Rastapunk
August 17th 2014


738 Comments


Another band I have to check out!

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 17th 2014


3440 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

@Voivod - Hopefully, because apparently you can stream anything on it lol

@Rastapunk - Yup. This is a good starting point. If you like them, listen to Wild, Wonderful...Purgatory and Almost Heathen next

@Wolfhorde - I have to admit I was not sure what to expect, but it is a cool, fun album

Mad.
August 17th 2014


3966 Comments


That first track was pretty cool, not better than anything on Almost Heathen though. They did always have potential to surpass that if they tried something new with song structures etc, maybe go a bit more progressive? Shame they probably never will at this stage

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 17th 2014


3440 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

I was thinking the same thing. Going prog at this stage wouldn't hurt at all, but after playing the same stuff more or less for almost 20 years, we most probably won't hear anything like that ever.

Btw, they're on a full UK tour now, maybe you can catch them live somewhere.

Mad.
August 18th 2014


3966 Comments


Yeah I've seen a couple of gigs listed, might catch them if they're near me. They probably have great energy live

Underflow
August 18th 2014


2579 Comments


This is a pretty fun album.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

Mad.
August 18th 2014


3966 Comments


"recommended by reviewer
Tumbleweed Dealer Western Horror"

Woo yeah stuff-I-found-on-bandcamp represent!

Ya should also try The Whirlings - Beyond the Eyelids, it's some brilliant instrumental post/prog-rock-leaning stoner rock

RadioSuicide
August 18th 2014


318 Comments


Got to work with Evan off and on ~4 years ago when my drumline instructor would call him in to assist us. Definitely one of the most disciplined drummers I've ever seen, and an incredibly solid dude.

Digging: Sun Kil Moon - Benji



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