Burner
It All Returns To Nothing


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mike Kaplan STAFF
June 27th, 2023 | 27 replies


Release Date: 06/23/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Go ahead, make my day. Better yet, light my day on fire.

First impressions can be tough in the ever-growing sea of blackened-death-metal-chaotic-core music. It’s not like new bands emerging onto the scene aren’t aware of the fact that it’s a crowded room, so I’m sure they all try to figure out how to make a lasting impact on people and not get passed up for the next Joe who comes along.

In Burner’s case, it was turn everything up to eleven.

The South London-based band’s debut LP, It All Returns to Nothing, is furiously fast, mind-numbingly heavy, and totally unhinged. Yes, it has everything that you would expect from an album that crosses modern day metalcore, death metal, and blackened influences. It starts and almost never stops, relentlessly pummeling the listener's eardrums with an onslaught of... heaviness. I don’t need to explain to you that there are riffs, blast beats, breakdowns, growls, screams, a frenetic atmosphere and rapid-fire changes of pace in the album. Furthermore, a large majority of all of these factors are actually very well-executed, and there is no question left that Burner are a band worth paying attention to.

Notice though, that I said the album crosses certain genres. The album has death metal type influences (but it’s not exactly deathcore), it’s not purely metalcore, there are black metal influences, there are chaotic moments but it’s not always pure chaos and there are event very minor nods to djent. Burner pretty artfully tiptoe the lines between certain genres in a way that avoids pigeonholing them while also allowing them to play with the influences they want to play with. You wouldn’t notice it if you weren’t paying attention, but the seamless integration of certain elements of all of the above genres results in an interesting and somewhat unique experience. It’s as though if one were to ask me what genre the album is, I would have to respond with, “Uh… I don’t know… Heavy?”

The refusal to squarely fall into one genre puts the amount of thought that has been put into the subtleties of the album on display, and it is fascinating. As just one example, there are a few points where the album will go from a wall of blast beats and riffs into a breakdown with an almost imperceptible polyrhythm. It doesn’t always happen, which then makes the points that it does more special. Another good example is “Pillars of Shame,” which comes after the opening stretch of the record. It exhibits the blackened influence the band has, but does it in a way that is not obnoxious or out of place.

The most prevalent example though, is to be found in “An Affirming Flame,” a seven and a half minute odyssey that showcases everything the band is capable of in a sometimes brutally heavy, sometimes eerie and sometimes beautiful way. The song confidently moves through Burner’s style without ever feeling clunky or awkward. It also contains just about the only real melodic or atmospheric elements in the album. It demonstrates how effective they are with creating ambience and mood, but also points up the obvious lack of its utilization throughout the rest of the album.

While it is interesting to listen to and dissect, this sort of approach can tend to be somewhat unfocused. Burner morph the sound of their music at an almost dizzying rate to the point where the only constant is the heaviness of the album. It sometimes seems like Burner haven’t really settled on what they are doing, so they end up doing everything at the same time, which can become a bit hard to follow. A minor but glaring example is the transition from “Pillars of Shame” to “Trinity”. While “Trinity” is only an instrumental interlude, there is almost no transition or lead up, which makes it just feel awkward. Additionally, while Harry Nott’s vocals are usually solid, the lows become grating after a while, especially with the degree that they are employed.

These are minor blemishes on a damned good record though. Provided Burner can focus their efforts and create some more space through atmosphere and melody, they have the potential to be stalwarts in this genre.



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user ratings (54)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Manatea
Staff Reviewer
June 27th 2023


1915 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album was a ripper and I had to write about it. Hope you enjoy.

NightOnDrunkMountain
Contributing Reviewer
June 27th 2023


619 Comments


I liked this one. You can also check Fear and Filth's "Blessed Be", something between Black Breath and Nails

Manatea
Staff Reviewer
June 27th 2023


1915 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Added to my ever growing list! Thanks!

ashcrash9
Contributing Reviewer
June 27th 2023


3341 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yesssssss

MarsKid
Emeritus
June 27th 2023


21030 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Nice review mate, album is a solid slice of -core goodness.

Manatea
Staff Reviewer
June 27th 2023


1915 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeh it’s good!

Also hi Zach and mars nice to see you

Dedes
Contributing Reviewer
June 28th 2023


9929 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Burner's EP fucking slapped so tbh im hyperrrrr stoked to see this pop up. Tite review my dude.

wwf
June 28th 2023


7198 Comments


based album title

Manatea
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2023


1915 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@dedes yeah it’s good! And thanks!



Wolfthehorde
June 28th 2023


42 Comments


There's a lot of moments here that remind me of things but I don't know entirely what.

Either way, slaps so far.

Ecnalzen
June 28th 2023


12163 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet this got a review



Good stuff

Blizzink
June 29th 2023


235 Comments


good shit

Dedes
Contributing Reviewer
June 29th 2023


9929 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

An Affirming Flame is a friggin nut buster

Such cathartic and piercing rage that culminates in such a calm and calculated hypnosis and I think I love it?

Most exciting blend o heavy record i've heard in a few years.

Manatea
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2023


1915 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

An Affirming Flame is most definitely the highlight of the album, really good track.

Jurtz
July 2nd 2023


1286 Comments


Shit slaps

MuhNamesTyler
July 3rd 2023


6707 Comments


Such a banger, hurt locker is so fuckin good

calmrose
July 4th 2023


6747 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this fucking rips

Ecnalzen
July 7th 2023


12163 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Look at this little fella, trending in the top 10, oh my

MarsKid
Emeritus
July 14th 2023


21030 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Perhaps I was too lukewarm on this...



Revisiting

Manatea
Staff Reviewer
July 15th 2023


1915 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Honestly Mars I feel like you should like it more…



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