Release Date: Jun 5, 2007
Label: I Am Wolfpack
Number Of Tracks: 13
Even though you might not find anything new in their sound, Black Light Burns are playing trite gothic/alternative rock very professionally.
UG Team, on june 07, 2007 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Their CD cover might scare you off, but don't judge them only by the gross picture -- the inside is so much better than it might seem. The band members' names for themselves though -- it was formed by Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit, Big Dumb Face, Eat the Day) together with Danny Lohner (Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle), Josh Eustis (Telefon Tel Aviv) and Josh Freese (The Vandals, A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails). And even more -- Borland claims that Black Light Burns is the culmination of his various projects.
For their debut album Cruel Melody the band was originally singed to Geffen -- the same record label Borland's previous band Limp Bizkit is singed to. But it didn't work out and Black Light Burns released Cruel Melody on Ross Robinson's new label I am: WOLFPACK. There are obvious influences according the band members' previous experiences -- it all sounds a lot like Nine Inch Nails with rock roots, bombing drums and electronics flourishes. You can't expect boring guitar riffs from such talented guitarists as Danny Lohner or Wes Borland and the guys exceed your expectations. Lohner's guitar effects create a distinctive sound.
The first single from the album Lie is a solid rock track based on contrast -- creepy verses and infectious trashing choruses. A lot of tracks are middle-paced and there quite a few rock ballads on the album like catchy Animal or self-titled track that falls out of the whole concept of the record, but at the same time is the best one here. The song Mesopotamia is a result of Borland's nightmare -- one day he just woke with this song in his head. The album was almost complete at the time, but Mesopotamia still got a place there. The album starts very powerful with this aggressive track and gets softer towards the end. The closer Iodine Sky is a wonderful peaceful track with a touchy piano. The album ends with a sound of a quiet night in the country. One thing is clear for sure -- Borland is a professional in creating atmospheric music. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are simple yet interesting. Borland isn't carefully expressing himself. He repeats words related to f--k a few time during the record like in the opening track Mesopotamia Mesopotamia, Mesopotamia, you f--kin' give me the creeps, you f--kin' give me the creeps.
After a few not very successful attempts to find a vocalist for his previous projects, Wes Borland finally decided he can handle it himself. He turns out be quite a strong vocalist. He doesn't have some kind of great singing abilities, apart from powerful growls and loud screaming, but what's more important he knows how to sing and how to fit the song's atmosphere. Borland feels the music and uses the right approach in every song. I Am Where It Takes Me features female vocals from a guest vocalist Johnette Napolitano, the lead singer of Concrete Blonde. The duet sounds very mellow with interesting harmonies. // 8
Overall Impression: I would probably disappoint Limp Bizkit fans saying that the record has nothing to do with Borland's previous projects. One of the tracks from the album I Have A Need was originally written for Lipm Bizkit, and could well make one of their songs, though in a totally different sound.
Even though you might not find anything new in their sound, Black Light Burns are playing trite gothic/alternative rock very professionally. You can excuse some lack of originality for the band's taste in music and the pleasure you get after listening to Cruel Melody. This is a distinctive CD that can easily be one of the year's best. // 9
mroofka_Z, on july 07, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: So this is my first revision here, and I'd like to comment Cruel Melody form different view. I'm a Wes Borland's fan, anyway, here goes review. First, after seeing cover, I thought 'ouch, that's gonna be some black metal, cool' and with this feeling I thrown CD into player. And then my jaw felt on ground. It was something totally different. Technically prefect progressive rock, with a lot of guitar tricks. This is an interesting mix of styles. There isnt much I can tell about, becasue it's impossible to describe music, you have to listen to it. // 9
Lyrics: All reviews are saying that lyrics aren't good. They are wrong, because to understand them you have to know real Wes' Borlands story. Once you know it, you'll know meaning of "I'm making sure that I believe; I'm doing what I must" or "These animals, they operate; On jealousy and lust; I'm taking back what was lost; And I will not be denied; I'm crawling my way to the surface outside." Altough Wes Borland singer skills sucked in 1999 (look on youtube for Wes Borland Master Of Puppets) now he's a good vocalist, but I'd like to see him live. He knows how to sing and his voice is really, really cool. If Iron Maiden vocalist would have a voice like Wes, they would be the best band in the universe. Wes' voice adds a loot of mood to songs, it's really cool. And he know how to change the tone or pitch with the lyrics meaning and so changes the music. But I get an overall feeling that whole CDs lyrics are effect of Wes' anger and/or sadness. it's good, they're expressive and moody. I like them. // 10
Overall Impression: I can't compare it to other album, it's not 100% Wes' style, but you have to note other players form the band, they also addes style to the music. And these are very good musicians, coming from Nine Inch Nails and A Perfect Circle. The coolest one is Lie, it's a real rocker but I can't get 'Cruel Melody' out of my mind, it's still there and it rigns there and really, I don't want it to stop. it's soooo melodic and moody. Also, the Iodine Sky impressed me. I was totally shocked. The guitar effects in it are awesome. It's very inspirating. And the last point from review guide, if it was stolen I wouldn buy it again. I'd buy Black Light Burns DVD. I think this CD is worth buying it. // 9