Sound — 8
Upon A Burning Body are Texas' own contribution to the Sumerian Records line-up, and one of the better ones at that. While labeled as basically Deathcore, they bring a lot more to the table than the average band in the genre. Most everyone says their favorite Deathcore band is "unique", but UABB prove it with a debut album that's as gritty as it is stunning. Their sound carries all the heat of a Texas summer, with bouncy riffs and insane drumming aplenty. The guitarists show off more than once on this album they can actually play, using tons of guitar acrobatics and whammy tricks (check "Donnie Brasco" and "Scarface"). These guys are definately more than just a few kids that learned how to tremollo pick and play blast beats. Their signature sound is a huge strength, but it's also their biggest musical weakness. Some of the songs can sound smashed together like a huge, tangled ball of yarn ("Heat", "City Hall"). That shouldn't stop you from enjoying the best parts of the album, but be wary, because from "Heat" on, the songs are jumbly and sound very simmilar. That minor flaw aside, the band have a lot to offer, and may even prove a fun listen to those who usually stray away from this genre.
Lyrics — 7
I'm EXTREMELY torn about the vocals. The vocalist has some damn good range, being able to fry, bellow, growl, and just flat out scream. There are some awkward "semi-clean" parts where he sort of yells lines that seem very out of place, but otherwise a nice performance. Lyrics vary from topics of personal honor, loathing, the party lifestyle, and life in a touring band. Songs like "Donnie Brasco" offer some awesome one-liners ("I wish you happiness... In hell - and - Respect is everything if you are willing to lose your life for it"). Instead of focusing on the gloom-and-doom other Deathcore acts choose to, personal honor and friendship (no homo) come top priority, almost like a hardcore act. However, like the vocals themselves, the lyrics have some flaws. Intermission's theme of partying till you drop is time worn, and they haven't done much to make it anymore appealing than anyone else. "The Devil's Advocate" suffers from much of the same problems: an over used topic that hasn't been made over to make it anymore appealing. All in all, however, there are more good points than bad when regarding both vocal delivery and content.
Overall Impression — 9
UABB have shown that Deathcore isn't dead. Unlike genre mates like I Declare War or Carnifex, they don't conform to the same mold, and create their own, unique sound that matches the emotion and delivery of the vocals. They've brought the thunder with a debut album that, despite its flaws, is a relatively entertaining listen. They may wanna refine those bugs before LP #2 though, or this, like the genre, could get stale quickly. For fans of: Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster, Whitechapel, old Job For A Cowboy.