A horrible hack

Burnt By The Sun

The Perfect Is The Enemy Of The Good

Year Released: 2004
Format: CD
Label: Relapse
 
Reviewed by Kunal Nandi on Jun 13, 2007
Burnt By The Sunís debut EP and split with Luddite Clone were absolutely barnstorming statements of intent, taking the then-fresh chaotic tech-metal blueprint (which is an oxymoron, but fuck it) and combining it with absolutely virtuoso musicianship. Checking out a band purely on the strength of the drummerís previous efforts is never a sure-fire mark of quality, but in the case of Dave motherfucking Witte (note the swearword), you know youíre not going to be disappointed. He doesnít just hit things. He hits things harder and faster, and in more inventive ways than most people on Planet Earth. The other guys are no slouches either, with some very odd guitar lines zigzagging around the place whilst still being locked into the beat provided by Witte.

But now the honeymoon period is definitely over, leaving me a little ambivalent towards the band. This is their second full-length, and the edges that were smoothed out on the first remain, meaning that in the long-term, not that much is left once that initial bout of giddiness from all that noise and all those time changes ends and the songs become second nature. The flaws are more evident. There is something quite clinically sterile in the sudden shifts during songs. They have also never been helped by a slurring vocal delivery and the odd bouts of rap-metal-esque chugging that often place BBTS somewhere between Dillinger Escape Plan and Earth Crisis, which is not a great place to be.

Typical second album blues then.

ďForlaniĒ however is Grade-A prime BBTS. A head-spinningly catchy riff, with drums that flit organically from vicious blasting to a smooth waltz-time, before breaking down into a section of hefty straightforward hardcore from out of nowhere (though I hardly mind) before ending on a fast bit. Iím damning this album with faint praise perhaps, focussing on the negative rather than accentuating the positive, which is wrong as this really is a fine album, well produced, presented and played. With the recent departure of both Dave Witte (drums) and Mike Olender (vocals and lyrics) though, I wonder as to the bandís longevity and relevance. Good fun though!

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