Burning Skies

Desolation

Written by: PP on 21/11/2006 18:00:59

Hailing from Bristol, UK, Burning Skies are fighting in the heavyweights series within the UK. Quite possibly one of the heaviest and most brutal bands to come out of Britain in the recent years, the band has gained a large following after they signed to the up and coming label Lifeforce records. "Desolation" is their sophomore album on the label, and the destruction continues all around this beast of a record.

After the haunting introduction, the album opens with "RKD", one of the most brutal tracks on the album. It combines senselessly fast, intricate guitar structures of grindcore together with the blast-beat domination and grunts of death metal, and adds some screamed vocals and breakdowns into the mix. It's easy to get the wrong impression of the quintet from "RKD", as the rest of the album hardly reaches the same unmelodious intensity as that track boasts of. "The Sweet Sound Of Violence", for instance, represents a much more Lamb Of God-ish approach, meaning more hardcore-influenced screaming instead of death metal style growls, and more focus on guitar work than the rest of the instruments. Throw in a couple of thrash-riffs and you're at the next track "Bauer Power".

All this sounds good for an extreme music fan, right? Sure, but the band doesn't excel before the brilliant sixth track, "Damaged". The layered dual-vocals trade screams and growls, shrieks and grunts line by line, adding the kind of versatility the band needs to keep the listener returning to the band. Instrumental dextrousness isn't shunned off either, there are pull-off riffs, dissonance and tempo changes, weird time signatures and drumming that changes from moderate pace to lightning speed machine-like punching that sounds like drummer Phil is likely to need replacement drums after each show. "Fairytale Supremacy" is another highlight, with similar features, albeit much slower than "Damaged". The tempo changes from slow to ultra-fast are much clearer here, and the breakdowns mid-song resemble those of the top notch hardcore bands', before they return back to the speedy chaos of grinding riffs, and ultimately end up being thrashy as the song progresses forward.

But since these two focal points work together so well, they contrast the rest of the material by shining some bad light over them. That's not to say that songs like "Caught In The Circle" aren't good at all, they just simply don't reach the kind of "wow, gotta listen to this again" status that the two aforementioned ones do. Nevertheless, "Desolation" has been put together well, and Lifeforce Records keeps up their reputation of releases that are, most of all, characteristic enough to sound different from their respective scenes.

Download: Damaged, Fairytale Supremacy
For the fans of: Lamb Of God, Misery Index, A Life Once Lost
Listen: Burning Skies

Release date 30.10.2006
Lifeforce Records
Provided by Target ApS

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