Sound — 8
Bringing the perfect mixture of hardcore & rock and roll, Canadian band Burning Love's freshman release shines a fresh light on a fusion that has been tried often with mixed results. Hardcore veteran Chris Colohan (ex-Cursed) takes the reigns with his signature bloody-throated vocals, while the band is comprised of ex-members of Our Fathers (Canadian sludge band). Pat Marshall and Andrus Meret form a formidable guitar duo and Dave O'Connor and Easton Lannaman hold down the groove on bass and drums, respectively. Let's look at the tracks: 1. "Destroyer Of Worlds": No fancy intros, fast and loud. One of my favorite vocal songs. Constant and driving. 2. "Don't Ever Change": Great intro riff kickstarts a very groovy, sludgy song. Dark and energetic. Great guitar leads at 1:48. 3. "Momento Mori": Cool riff at :32, slow tremolo guitar riffs throughout 4. "Gain": Hard-hitting intro. Heavy and detuned. Great cutoff into a solo at 1:44. One of my faves. 5. "Curse Breaker": Dark intro chords give way to a song dripping with rock n'roll attitude. Swirling rock leads mixed throughout. 6. "Miserable Sound": Another favorite. Infectious grooves. Awesome leads at 1:25 which break into a dual solo at 1:53. 7. "High Speed Wires": Gritty rock n' roll feel. Interesting use of piano backing in the chorus. Driving end accompanied by Colo's wails. 8. "Alien Vs. Creditor": Straightforward riffing, permeated by bending leads. Great chorus. Pounding beat up to a good outro riff at 2:23. 9. "Money Shots": Good blend of hardcore and rock. Constant beat accentuated by the moans of a woman in the background. 10. "Morning After Party": Eerie, pounding riffs. Accompanied by a steady piano beat at points. Awesome vocal cries at 1:20 followed by another good solo 11. "Piano": Actually just a piano ironically. Haunting, noisy interlude. 12. "The Needle": Another really infectious groove. Cool instrumentals at 1:11. 13. "Burning Love": I thought this one would have made a good 1st track. Pounding bass drums give way to a pulsing hardcore beat and more of Colo's guttural barks.
Lyrics — 8
Chris Colohan is well-respected in the hardcore circle for his gravel-filled yells, and his lyric-writing capabilities are nothing to scoff at either. He manages to sound as pissed off as possible while remaining clear enough to hear every word. The voice is a perfect complement to the sludgy riffing filling this album. The lyrics manage to be poetic, infectious, and angry all at the same time. "Destroyer Of Worlds" sounds like a poem when the lyrics are read. Talking about the A-bomb he barks, "We don't need your son no more, we've got 10, 000 more down here." The lyrics often border on the depressing talking about lives ruined by drug addiction ("The Needle"), bad luck ("Curse Breaker"), and temptation ("Burning Love") amongst others, but the music never goes to the point of wallowing. Overall fantastic work.
Overall Impression — 8
At the end of the day, these guys manage to make an awesome blend of memorable, gritty, adrenaline-pumping hardcore/rock that any hardcore fan should love. A lot of this is also due to the DIY mixing style by acclaimed Canadian producer Ian Blurton. This is for those fans of Cursed who don't mind the rock edge. My favorite songs are "Gain", "Miserable Sound", and "Destroyer Of Worlds", but I really like the entire album and would definitely buy it again. Do yourself and give this a listen, pronto.