In Which It Burns - Beneath The Darkness Of Sky - (8.5/10)
Published on October 12, 2017
The opportunity to review something quite as local as this (for me, at least) is one I couldn’t let pass by. Hailing from my home county of Pembrokeshire, Wales, the ferocious trio of In Which It Burns spew forth their 2017 release: Beneath The Darkness Of Sky. As an EP, this satisfies all the criteria one could desire: four chunky tunes of brand new material, two recordings from a previous incarnation, and an obscure demo for the weirdos who simply have to own everything. Stylistically, this is hefty groove metal with thrash tendencies and a few shameless nods to the more memorable nu metal greats like Dry Kill Logic or Soulfly.
The keyword here is ‘raw’. Beneath The Darkness Of Sky possesses a sound that hearkens back to the yesteryear of tape-trading; where anyone could be in a metal band, but they really had to care. That sense of caring and owning one’s creation shines through the organic and coarse production quality. No bass? No problem! The main body of the EP still retains enough gravitas due to plenty of low end on the mix. Good job too, because much of the focus is on the art of the riff. Those huge, hulking, swinging, groovy riffs that made the late ’90s so goddamn fun. The opening riff of “U Fukt It Up” (more on that title later) is especially notable for it’s nod-along-ability; as is the crushing pre-chorus to the title-track. If I hadn’t been told about the lack of bass, I would never have guessed…
I don’t wish to disparage In Which It Burns by implying they’re a one-trick pony. Whilst the gritty riffage, like the first 40 seconds of the title-track, may be a central focus – the other compositional techniques present are just as impressive. This same, multi-faceted track is also rife with blast-beats and wonderfully eerie clean-picking. Reminiscent of the progressive thrash greats like Forbidden and Heathen, these brief moments of respite are what elevate the EP from ‘good’ to ‘refreshingly great’. Both guitarists, Stretch and Steve, play off each other nicely and surprisingly delicately for such exposed segments. There is a slight moment of hideousness on the awfully-titled “U Fukt It Up” (that’s so Limp Bizkit it hurts!) as the Welshmen emulate a nu metal build-up with seriously cringeworthy lyrics. But hey, screaming ‘YOU FUCKED IT UUUUP!’ unabashedly makes up for it!
The one-two punch of “Into The Darkness” and “Waste Of A Life” inevitably sound more wholesome than the main EP, due to the presence of bass. Without meaning to cast a shadow, these are my two favourites on the release. The colossal riff that opens the former, and the even more colossal riff that closes the latter are just asking for any metalhead to lean back and bask in the glory of the stringwork. Beneath The Darkness Of Sky may not be perfect by any means, but for an EP, we should really just be grateful for both the quality and quantity on display here. Leave your brain at the door, bring your beers and mosh ’til the sweat pours. In Which It Burns show serious potential, and I definitely hope for a full-length LP in the near future.