Metalcore? Hardcore? Well that’s what the blurb says, however BURST burn brightly at the tip of the furthest spiral arm of the Metalcore galaxy, anytime now they will spin off into the uncharted dark. Progressive in every sense, a 70’s vibe smoothes off the edges, this is like looking at a fractal picture, as the tracks develop the patina changes but a familiarity is maintained.
BURST create depth by creating space, occasionally the brutality rises briefly, just long enough to surreptitiously push a dagger into a sleeping lost love. The harsh bark of the vocals seems at odds with the subtlety of the instrumentation at first but gradually the anguished tone begins to meld with the bittersweet music.
“Origo” paints pictures of black and red, there being an underlying beauty weaving throughout, even on the more insistent Thrash orientated “Slave Emotion.” where the iron fist has still been embellished with ornate engravings. Complex for the genre, nonetheless BURST nurture delicate shrubs bearing barbed thorns that catch and snag you as you attempt to make your way through this oftimes deceptively dense thicket of an album.
Each track presents a soundscape and none are a pretty picture. Desolation and remoteness are your panorama, the end of a nuclear winter, the sun low on the horizon staining the sky like a bullet wound, futilely trying to push back the black clouds that menace at the first signs of new life. At times BURST fade into monochrome psychedelia as in “It Comes Into View,” Drops of black oil falling into a grey lake, the ripples building into an endless crested wave that never breaks, not even under the sunshielded eyes of that SR71 pilot.
Though all the tracks have gravitas, only “Slave Emotion” and “Stormwielder” have any great weight to them. Even these two tracks are honeycombed by exposure to fireflies that buoy them up and prevent them sinking under the pressure of melancholy. Closing track “Mercy Liberation” typifies all that is best about this album, working simultaneously at telephoto and macro distances, in the blink of an eye you see the distant figure of a ghost rider drifting out of the distant mists whilst at the same time you’re mesmerised by quarks dancing in and out of existence.
“Origo” presents a canvas of stark pulchritude that pulls with planetary attraction, yet is delicate enough to be held at bay by the last breath of a dying man. Rivers of blood flow through volcanic ash. Tensions twist through expectations, hope and despair. Catastrophic collapse leads to new light and rebirth.
Having received this album and the accompanying info sheet, I had loaded two cartridges into the shotgun ready to turn this CD into shards then dust. However, the gun is leant in a corner and I am left humbled, surprised and perhaps poisoned by the listening. (Online March 22, 2006)