Metalcore and originality. Put those two words together and many a metal fan these days will call that an idiom. In these days of Drop C tuning, chugga-chugga breakdowns, Minor third harmonies, and guttural screamed vocals, it's hard to tell many bands apart. It seems like another As I Lay Dying ripoff is coming out every day. However, there are a number of bands that seem to be defying the trends within this genre. Burn In Silence is one of those bands.
As I make my way through this album, I realize that no other metalcore band has grabbed my attention like Burn In Silence has, besides All That Remains and Unearth, two of the best the genre has to offer. Producer Ken Susi (guitarist of Unearth) has done a damn good job of capturing Burn In Silence's sound in a captivating, hard-hitting way. The tone is crisp. The musicianship is solid. No instrument is louder than the other. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING is sloppy. This, to me, is the standard by which every metalcore band should go by.
, the Prosthetic Records debut from Massachussett's Burn In Silence, is a scathing, aggressive, and somewhat dramatic album, composed of technical, tight riffing, pounding double bass, symphonic keyboards (yes, I said KEYBOARDS) and vicious yet serenading vocals. The "-core" breakdowns are still there, yes, but fit breakneck, aggressive patterns. So you're not getting the typical "chug" here.
Right off the bat, I should make it known that half of the band is comprised of members of Boston death metal band Goratory (Drummer Darren Cesca, guitarist Alan Glassman, and bass player Max Lavelle). That should give you somewhat an idea of the intensity Burn In Silence's music brings to the table. But don't let that define to you who Burn In Silence are.
Starting the album off is the band's first single, Lines From an Epitaph
, which right away showcases the importance of keyboardist Ben Schullkin. His symphonic work on the keys gives this album a sense of drama. While this song, like all other BIS songs, is rooted in metalcore, it also shows an underlying influence in black and thrash metal, and that's not just because of the keyboards. Chris Harrell's vocals dominate this song, as they do throughout the album. The outro to the song is also a great kick in the teeth. You can tell Burn In Silence is not just another metalcore band. A great way to start off the album.
, One of my favorite tracks off this album, follows and keeps the pace of the opening track. This song is heavy as hell. You can't help but bang your head to some of the open-note lines. The melodic tremelo picking in this song is great. Cesca's double bass pounds through the speakers through out this song. The song's chorus is really what drives the song. Great, tight melodic riffing, which pretty much sums up the entire album.
The most melodic track on the album, The Age in Which Tomorrow Brings
again brings out Harrell's powerful vocals and his heartfelt lyrics. his sung vocals are just as great as his screamed vocals. The music surrounding his musings just makes it so much more heartfelt. Schullkin's keys again play an important part of the song and the melodic riffing of guitarists Mike Casavant and Alex Glassman make the song that much better.
The next track, Embrace The Plague
seems to bring out the death metal side of the band, but still keeps up with the melodic side of the album. The dramatic prelude to the "breakdown" at the end of the song is just awesome. God, I love when keyboards are utilized in heavy music.
Another angry tirade against humanity is unleashed in Primal Human Pain
. This continues the hard-hitting riffage and the dramatic symphonic elements of each previous song, but in no way does repetivity show in any of these songs. You can feel the rage in their music, you can feel the intensity. Most of all, this album has shown to be consistent. Even the breakdowns are pleasing.
I have my reservations about the title track, Angel Maker
. I am no fan of "wank" chords, and this song is chock full of them. There are parts of the song that, like the rest of this album, have made me say "holy hell that's intense", but they "typical -core" side of this band nudges its ugly out. not to say this is a bad track, but it definitely is the album's weakest. But that's not exactly a bad thing. The dissonance in this song just sets it apart from the rest.
, another one of my favorites, follows the somewhat weak title track and is a return to the intense, dramatic metal of the previous tracks. This is another track that utilizes heavy, "chugging" riffage in a smart, aggressive way. The tone on this song is brilliant. However, it does catch you off guard with another somewhat dissonant "breakdown". After said breakdown, Schullkin's keyboard work again helps make this song fresh.
Afetr that royal assbeating, Burn In Silence decides to get somewhat melodic again and show that they should have been Swedish. Well Adjusted
starts off as if it were a Swedish-born melodic death metal song. As it heads into the breakdown, just the guitars start off and bring back the heavy side to the song. This song, like all other Burn In Silence songs, mix melodicism with heavyness like nothing.
One of the catchiest songs on this album is Watching Dead Leaves Fall
the single note riff is bouncy as hell, yet heavy. This song is again dramatic, angry, fast, aggressive...and also beautiful in a twisted way. Harrell's pissed off vocals and lyrics make this song so strong. Ever had a problem in life, feeling so much pain, misery, depression, frustration with a single issue, and have someone say "I know how you feel"? Harrell speaks for us all when he bellows angrily, "How the FUC
K can you know how this feels?!". That's the beauty of this album, it hits home emotionally, musically, lyrically. Not many bands can match the intensity I have heard in Burn In Silence's music. Capped off by a beautiful solo keyboard outro, the song leaves you wanting more.
The album's closer, World of Regret
, seems very out of place to me, however. Something about the opening riff just throws me off. Not to say it isn't a good song. The only thing I see wrong with it is the displacement. I would rather place this track after the title track and have the album close out with Watching Dead Leaves Fall
. Still a strong track, Everything is chaotic yet still in place. Harrell's sung vocals again strike a chord. His voice is amazing. The album ends and I am now a scared little boy.
As I have said, there are not too many metalcore albums these days that scream "ORIGINAL!" to me. Not many bands within the genre have grabbed my attention, but Burn In Silence has it by the balls. Such a great debut for a band that is promising, young, fresh, and I think will soon take over the scene. Bleeding Through, take some lessons from these guys. Burn In Silence does dramatic, relentless metalcore RIGHT.
The Age In Which Tomorrow Brings
Primal Human Pain
Watching Dead Leaves Fall