Though only the fourth month in we can announce the winner of the EP of the year award. Where It Begins from Irish alternative metal band iBurn takes the honour with an intensity that snatches the senses from within your very soul to stomp all over them with adrenaline driven power and simultaneously revitalise them with ingenious and infectious melodic interaction. The release is immense and has surpassed the already strong promise the early sneak of two of the songs we had the pleasure of hearing gave up.
From Tipperary the quintet first drew eager attention and threw the senses into a blissful state of disarray with their debut self titled EP of last year. Eight tracks that took a dying genre in nu-metal into a revitalised and adventurous arena. The band now returns with seven more songs within Where It Begins that takes the genre even further forward but also declares iBurn as a band that feeds off and thrives across multiple influences and styles. They are fresh, aggressive, and the creators of metal that envelopes and excites every one of the senses whilst setting the heart aflame with invention and innovation.
From their debut iBurn has evolved as musicians and in sound from a band offering excellent exciting sounds into a very important one that is forging new avenues and taking European metal by the scruff of the neck to send new energy through its tired frame. They and this release really are that good. One hoped for something special having fallen for its predecessor but Where It Begins simply blows that out of the water.
The EP starts with Chase It and immediately snatches away the breath. Riffs finger the senses like a demented conjuror sending emotions into overload from blistered chords and groove veined meanderings. As the head becomes disentangled from the body under the intrusive yet delicious manipulations vocalist Matt Sheedy brings his perfect vocals in to calm the situation with harmonies and a clean flowing delivery. Of course he is no innocent and soon adds twisted growls and intent to join the irresistible guitars of Dave and Chuck in a wicked examination of the emotions.
The title track seizes the opportunity to further mesmerise and disable the senses next, a magnificent blend of urgent and dehabilitating riffs behind graceful keys and melodic ingenuity from the band. The drums drop kick with precision and accuracy whilst the bass pulsates with a darkened sinister tone throughout aiding what again is an immense piece of music and exhilarating songwriting. There has always been a Korn feel to the early iBurn songs and that, especially here is still very apparent but it has evolved into a spice that adds a flavour to a very distinct and unique beast. At times on the release one is reminded of other bands too, as on this song where one can hear touches of American Head Charge but iBurn has evolved into a band that when one hears a song they know it is them.
Diversity is rife on the EP to add an even further impressive element. Before Tomorrow has a industrial thrust to its soul, the band bringing a taste of Fear Factory to their creative and beautifully crafted invention. Coarse and smooth the song rips straight through to the heart leaving scorch marks from its infectious melodic teasing and the high intensity disruption of one’s safety zone. If spiteful yet innovative music was a crime the band would be the lead suspect.
The venomous Get It Right leaves one writhing on the floor, the song taking great pleasure from alternately flaying its recipient’s body to within an inch of its endurance and pulling them back up with regenerative melodic skill and sounds. It is as siren like as it is intimidating and further proof that the band has set up its own personal corner of metal to set the genre and other bands on a new course.
The crushing Lashing Out destroys the synapses next, the song bullying with more intensity than the likes of Machinehead have brought in a long time to be followed by the brilliant Human Nature, its Faith No More/Dub War greased metallic drive a staggering result of a band on a march to reshape not only nu-metal but metal on the whole. The continued mix of electronics with the nerve wrenching intensity and power is simply irresistible and alone would ensure attention was permanently but add the sheer invention, thought, and craft placed in each song from composition to ideas from each member and you have music that sets new levels.
Ending on Signs, yet another titanic song of power and imagination, one is grateful for the respite as the EP takes its leave but is soon diving back into the maelstrom of blistering and inspiring sounds. It is impossible to imagine anyone rivalling Where It Begins but one never knows, as to beating it in quality and satisfaction that is one hell of a long shot. iBurn are the future of metal and a band everyone needs to go find out about and as the band have released the EP as a free download you have no excuse not to go straight there right now.
Get the Where It Begins EP via either https://www.facebook.com/iburnmusic/app_2405167945?ref=ts or http://www.reverbnation.com/iburnmusic