Cruel Melody review by Black Light Burns

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  • Released: Jun 5, 2007
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (50 votes)
Black Light Burns: Cruel Melody

Sound — 9
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.

Lyrics — 8
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.

Overall Impression — 9
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 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Wes Borland is in my opinion probably one of the most underrated guitarist of my generation. He's an absolutely amazing player, and it's disapointing that he doesn't get the credit he deserves.
    i always liked Wes, but seeing what hes doing now.. its incredible. first, i get the cd, i thrown it into my cd player and... i get shocked. it was something totally different i expected. i was almost sure of intro like 'monster riff'. anyway, i thought 'what a cool vocalist! hes not so talented, but i like his voice sound, its so nice, i can listen to this voice for hours'. and then, i thought, ill download some videos. i saw Borland singing. and i was totally shocked. but the biggest shock... the Iodine Sky... after whole CD... it was unbelivable. great. and for the review about the lyrics... dude, you dont know nothing about Wes' story. The 'Lie' is written for... whats that shorty's name? aaa it was written for Fred. Drust. try to understand that lyrics. and know Borland's story. youll see. i think the Lie's lyrics are the best ones i heard this year. and yes, Wes is totally underrated. thats a big pity, he could make sooooo much good music.
    This is a distinctive CD that can easily be one of the years best. The review could easily consist of just that line. Truly amazing CD. A perfect CD to listen to before sleeping. Borland is clearly a true artist. Great review.
    RHCP603 wrote: Wes Borland is in my opinion probably one of the most underrated guitarist of my generation. He's an absolutely amazing player, and it's disapointing that he doesn't get the credit he deserves.
    My ge-ge-generation! Haha.
    i first learned about this CD when this website for introduced it. They put up a windows media link to the song Lie. While I was listening to it, I was blown away. After listening to this entire CD, all I could think is congrats to Wes Borland for his excellent musical writing skills. it seemed like everyone that took part in the music of this album fit in perfectly to make it such a great album to listen to. i love it. i only like a couple of NIN songs, and some gothic stuff... but this stuff just makes it all sound good. the song animal has a great intro that buzzes in your head, and the chorus sticks into your head. the mark is a great song that starts off slow but goes into a fast paced part that can blow you away. now, i listened to I AM WHERE IT TAKES ME, i was a bit depressed after listening to this track. its not the lyrics, but the atmospheric setting that brought me to this mood. it was written very well but it just sounded so depressing, but i kept listening to it and i liked it more. all in all, i would give this cd a 9/10. there were maybe 2 tracks that i didn't care for and skip over, but the restof the cd is really put together very good job wes borland, danny lohner, josh eustis and josh freese. you guys made one hell of a album!
    @RHCP603 I went to one of his guitar clinics. He's quite talented and very out of the box. He did this thing where he used a delay pedal, an audio looper and a violin bow to record an entire track from scratch including the drum beat(muted strings), the bass line, ryhtm, lead and semi-orchestral sound. it was amazing.. oh and his signature is a beautiful guitar live.
    I've had this for weeks, and I've listened to it since. Incredible cd, and great to see Wes doing something better than bizkit. His guitar style was always awesome, but it's a hell of a lot better without fred durst whimpering over it.
    damn good cd, i cant complain. The start up was a bit weak, but by the like the 4th or 5th i was totally feeling it. I dont typically like the NIN, gothy stuff, but I really like BLB. I cant lie I like it more when its more straight-forward heavy stuff, but I like the more atmospheric stuff they do as well.