Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Burnt by the Sun - Soundtrack to the Personal Revolution (2002)

Coming out towards the end of Relapse Records ultra-experimental era (mid-'90's-early-'00's) Burnt by the Sun could be viewed as the "final burp" before the label settled into a decade of mostly "blah" releases.

Obviously riding the wave generated by The Dillinger Escape Plan, Burnt by the Sun (featuring ex-members of Human Remains, by the way) executed a slightly more "grindier" version of what that band was dishing out. I have to say, despite the animosity that "underground death metal dorks" show Dillinger and similar "math-minded" acts, I couldn't care less. I was (and still am) rather fond of that band's earlier works. I found them to be fresh, unique and fairly exhilarating. Of course with everything groundbreaking and exciting comes the inevitable storm of copycats intent on beating a dead horse (Korn, anyone?). While I don't want to label BBTS a blatant rip-off I would say that it's fairly obvious where the band culled their inspiration from. having said that, I do find the material on 'Soundtrack...' to be a compelling enough listen to garner repeated spins on the turn-table.

Aside from a few mundane "hardcore" style redundancies, there are some brilliant riffs flying around on this album and it should come as no surprise that they are all answered to a 'T' by legendary skin-beater extraordinaire, Dave Witte. Really, the only thing that kinda holds everything back are the ultra-retarded and neanderthal "tough guy" vocals, a style that I absolutely abhor and pretty much ruins any musical experience for me once they come swaggering through the door in all their "greasy mook" glory. Surprisingly, though, I am actually able to shrug this guy off in order to concentrate on the urban insanity of the riff and drum onslaught. Why couldn't they get Chuck Schuldiner's vocal doppelganger out of the house and bring him along for the ride as well? Instead they had some greasy 'eye'talian wigger from the Jersey Shore come in and let his inner retard come crashing, full bore out of the closet and into the mic. It's almost unforgivable but again, the music is just so fucking good (minus the primate hardcore parts) that I ultimately have to give this a pass.

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