Burn The Sunset – Home

With the force of a wind tunnel cranked up to the top, Home from Scottish metalcore band Burn The Sunset is a punishing assault on ear, senses and self security. The debut album from the Stirling based metalers saps the energy and breath from its listener whilst leaving the shattered shell a smiling wreck from its infernal intensity. It is not an easy listen and many will run for cover the instant it places its sonic claws into their psyche but stand tall in the face of its tumultuous aggressive sounds and the reward is deep and satisfying.

Formed in 2008, Burn The Sunset has steadily and effectively worked towards its brutal sound and this debut release. The years leading up to Home has seen the quintet crafting their musical thoughts and sound through countless impressive live shows including shared stages with and tours alongside the likes of Never Cry Wolf, Your Demise, While She Sleeps, Bleed From Within, and It Prevails, and concentrated songwriting, the band garnering strong respect and acclaim along the way. The album is proof that the time taken honing and finding their sound has been well worth the wait. To be honest Home suggests there is still much more to come from the band and that they still have not found that really defining element that will make them stand heads above the rest but they are well on the way and the promise this release offers is frightening and very exciting for future releases and years.

Opening pulsating instrumental ‘Home Pt 1’ proves to be reasonably subdued against the rest of the release, its striking and intrusive riffs a mere hint to the devastation to be unleashed upon the ear. The track leads straight into the excellent ‘Moving On’ and the awakening of the beast that is Home. The track rifles the listener with treacherous riffs and incisive melodic guitars from  Jonathon Almond and Duncan Fyfe that sear rather than groom the ear. It hits hard but still the band is not at full intense capacity, the song bullying rather than crushing its victim. The vocals of Andy Bruce are caustic, his venomous growls dragged from a swamp of bile, and a perfect fit to the blistering sound.

Lonely and Defeated’ throws full force upon the listener, obliterating with destructive riffs, rhythms that numb, and pissy basslines from Jack Sullivan. From here on in the intensity is all consuming and impervious to resistance. ‘The Changing Times’ pummels the senses with towering riffs and power which never diminishes even through the smooth and distinct pace changes. From a rampant animal to a lumbering brute and back the track is relentless and demanding. As throughout the release Home gives no time for a gulp of air between tracks as ‘Insincere’ slams into view belligerent and full of animosity. Its winding groove twists and teases the senses until they are ready to snap whilst scorched guitar play taunts behind. The gang shouts are a good contrast to the harsh delivery of Bruce and maybe if a criticism there were not enough.

The album’s best track is ‘Memories’ and by a long way, it is a classic. It is hard to define what it has different or what sets it apart from the other fine songs but it simply ripples with extra exited energy and enterprising creativity. Without losing any of the urgency and intensity found elsewhere the song ignites and pleases the ear and beyond with a tremendous rhythm attack from Callum Bain, who it has to be said is outstanding throughout Home, essential riffs that trigger the primal inside, and a siren mesmeric groove that attaches itself like a leech giving rather than drawing pleasure.

Home is not without minor faults, mainly in the fact that despite his fine display and aggressive delivery Bruce’s vocals are a touch one dimensional and often veils the variation going on musically. Not a major criticism but a slight diversity would make on feels great songs even better and it is no coincidence that when the collective shouts and chants come in the songs find another dimension.  Despite that Burn The Sunset has announce their arrival with a ferocious and blistering release that will give deep satisfaction for those with an extreme metal/metal core bent.

RingMaster 26/01/2012

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Lord Volture – Never Cry Wolf

Lord Volture and their second album Never Cry Wolf through no fault of their own started off with a big disadvantage for this review for the fact that classic rock/power metal vocals as employed by the band’s frontman and founder David Marcelis are like aural salt on this reviewer’s musical slug. The high pitched yells and squeals like fingernails down a chalk board on the ear especially with the even more distinct style of Marcelis with his often off key and fluctuating levels. So bear that in mind as the album which musically is very satisfying is examined here.

As mentioned the band started when Marcelis with strong influences from traditional heavy metal bands from the 70’s and 80’s started writing songs of his own after a decade of fronting bands like Methusalem and Conquestador. The subsequent recordings of these songs eventually became the Lord Volture debut album Beast Of Thunder. The album featured numerous guest guitarists including Jeff Waters from Annihilator and grabbed some firm acclaim. A live line-up was then pulled together using some of the best metal talent from the Netherlands to make Lord Volture a force on stage as well as in the studio. This group of musicians has forged a strong understanding and determination to deliver the best sound possible, the combined ability of Marcelis, his brother Paul (Up The Irons, Mercyful Fake) on guitar, fellow guitarist Leon Hermans (Burn, Up The Irons), bassist Simon Geurts (Mercyful Fake), and Frank Wintermans (Substance) on drums, creating in Never Cry Wolf a release that takes hold and rampages in the ear with rock essences to please and devour.

Containing eleven tracks to enflame the hearts of any power metal and classic rock fan the album uses and exploits all the welcome if obvious elements from metal/thrash bands of the likes of Judas Priest, Iced Earth through to Jag Panzer and Cage. This makes Never Cry Wolf not particularly hot on invention or innovation but ablaze with pulse racing and eager familiarity brought forth with a powerful intent and skill that cannot be denied or criticised. The ear may not be caught by surprise or stunned with unexpected shocks but it is fed some striking and deeply pleasing sounds and well written songs. 

The first big notable thing straight from the opening and title track is the impressive and pulsating bass and mesmeric rhythms of Geurts. Each and every song is veined with his deep and hypnotic creative riffs to always grab attention and often snatch the glory from everyone else. In songs like ‘Celestrial Bodies Fall’, the intense and rampaging thrash of ‘Korgon’s Descent’, and the hard rock powered ‘Into The Lair Of A Lion’ he especially grabs the focus and it is no surprise these are the album’s best songs. This is in no way a one man band though with the guitars of Paul Marcelis and Hermans creating memorable riffs and melodic solos to warm all traditional metal hearts. Creative and unafraid to take tracks into harder metal areas alongside their classic rock influences the duo brings intrigue and infectious play to all the songs. With the instinctive and driving power of Winterman’s drums, musically the band gives everything a rock fan desires in a song and more.

The final track on the album ‘The Wolf At Your Door’ though not the best song is possibly the most creative. Starting with a predatory bassline and slow stalking riffs from guitars circling the ear sizing up their prey, the song quickly shifts into a chase as racing riffs gallop into and through the senses, once ‘caught’ the track explodes into a predictably layered song but those opening couple of minutes are glorious.

Musically Never Cry Wolf is impressive and deeply satisfying but let down by the vocal delivery and style, again note that this is a personal issue and I am sure far more will welcome Marcelis’ style with warm and open arms. The album is great and Lord Volture a band that deserves attention and for the music alone all who ignore or pass over Never Cry Wolf should be ashamed.

RingMaster 24/11/2011

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