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Burden : Burden

Burden produce fairly well-crafted slabs of drone-laden Death Doom.

Prior to writing this review, I knew absolutely nothing about these unsigned Doomsters out of Philadelphia. I was aware that there were already at least two active bands named Burden around (one from Germany and another from Finland), but a third band had eluded me. Had I been thrown a hidden gem that had yet to be discovered by a record label? Could I be hearing the next big earth shaker in the underground Doom scene? Sadly, this is not really the case.

I have to say that I couldn't stand this album when I first let its music attempt to lure me in, as the first track is a headache-inducing onslaught of monotonous guitar riffs and Deathcore-style 'pig squeals' (thanks a lot, Chris Barnes [Cannibal Corpse/Six Feet Under]). Some are fans of this vocal style, which is fine... but I just don't like the way it sounds. Eleven minutes is a long time to put up with that sort of thing; however, there was one bright spot in the song near the end where the vocalist altered his tone to a more coherent growl. Alas, it didn't even last a minute before the monotony snuck its way back into the fold. I really did not want to keep the album going after hearing that first track, but I did. In the band's defense, it definitely gets better from there. The next three tracks are all catchy, fairly well-crafted slabs of drone-laden Death Doom, particularly 'Mantle'. The album as a whole could sometimes be compared to the material produced by the likes of Daylight Dies or Swallow The Sun, which has its pros and cons. The production quality on the disc is top notch and I give a high level of praise to the New Jersey-based Backroom Studios, who mixed it for the band.

Although this album definitely won't become a regularly spun disc in my collection and it probably wouldn't make the cut amongst my end of the year favorites, the record certainly has its charms and strong moments that show future potential within the group. The eighteen-minute closing track on the album, although a bit too long for some, shows a lot of strong moments from all musicians involved. The song builds to a nice, memorable conclusion while also demonstrating some of the vocalist's stronger points. I find his more comprehensible growls to be quite exceptional. I will say that even though I initially dismissed Burden, I am actually looking forward to seeing how they expand upon their sound and vision for their next recorded endeavor.

Reviewer's rating: 5.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Death
2. Life
3. Hunted
4. Mantle
5. Stills
6. Silent

Duration : Approx. 71 minutes

Visit the Burden bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-02-28 by Jon Carr
Hate Your Guts Records
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