Burst - Lazarus Bird (2008)Release ID: 1796
Relapse Records, one of the more unique metal record labels out there, is pretty much responsible for helping Burst boost their tiny popularity into higher fame. Very few metal fans have ever heard of that band until they were signed by Relapse to make their previous two albums Prey on Gold and Origo, which caused a strike of sonic gold! Seems like both albums showed a post-progressive metalcore combo that left Burst fans wanting more metal innovation. And they got it after the band's 3 years of extensive touring from Europe to America with the metal gem, Lazarus Bird, a great way to close their career!
The opening track "I Hold Vertigo" begins with some steady chugging rhythm that would soon lead to a roller-coaster of unexpected twists with no time to prepare. After that typical metalcore riff, monstrous melodies and electronic sound-waves start building up. My own complaint about the song is the 30-second outro riff that keeps starting and stopping after the rest of the instrumentation stopped. That's just piercingly repetitive and annoying, but doesn't affect the rest of the album's perfection. The artistic guitar skill development in "I Exterminate the I" is proven by the clever spacey guitar leads. "We Are Dust" starts soft for the first 3 minutes, than becomes harder, better, faster, stronger (NOT the Daft Punk song) than those other two songs, especially the well-constructed "6 Million Dollar Man" guitar approach a little after the 4-minute mark.
"Momentum" does the same thing of starting with a soft psychedelic 3-minute intro before a volcanic eruption of metal shatters the mood harder than glass, but that heavy part goes on for only a couple minutes. "Cripple God" is another album favorite, charging in with intense riffing and raw vocals that resemble Mastodon. Now that I think of it, this album is like a more ambient hardcore Mastodon. Then there's a beautiful softer verse before exploding into a furious attack of classic Metallica. "Nineteenhundred" has plenty of good moments where they explore more Mastodon and Opeth dynamics while still forging their own sound.
The next track, "(We Watched) The Silver Rain" starts by building up a rhythmic fill from calm to storming in the first two minutes, then calms down and, near the 3-minute mark, starts a bass transition. Then clean vocals enter and go on in extensive amounts with beautiful melancholic riffing for the rest of the song. There's still plenty of heaviness and yelling, just not as much as the clean parts. The intro of the final track, "City Cloaked" is a clean guitar passage with powerful emotion for the first two minutes, before being overpowered by the last band's progressive heaviness. And finally, the last 4 minutes is an ambient clean guitar outro that soon fades into oblivion. The best, least abrupt way to close a band's final album, other than The Dillinger Escape Plan's "Dissociation"!
It's hard to hear a band like Burst whose music doesn't catch on with the world and is almost forgotten. But at least they got their own sections in metal music magazines and have received critical success with this album and Origo. And the fact that they're signed to the titanic Relapse Records helped with a little more buzz. I'm sure not a lot of you have heard of, let alone heard, this band but consider yourself lucky to find something this complete. After a 3-year gap, the band found their potential of masterful composition. Even though Burst is dead (NOT literally dead, just split up), this great work of art they have created shall remain immortal!
Favorites: "I Hold Vertigo", "We Are Dust", "Cripple God", "City Cloaked"
Progressive Metal (conventional)
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