A horrible hack

The Burden Remains

Fragments

Year Released: 2014
Format: LP
Label: Irascible - Czar Of Bullets
 
Reviewed by Alex Deller on Oct 27, 2014
This one has been causing me to furrow my brow a fair bit, both in terms of how to describe it and what, precisely, my feelings about the whole experience are. The Burden Remains are an allsorts kinda band, musically lobbing in choppy thrash riffing, metronomic Meshuggah styles, groovy elements a la Pantera or Black Album Metallica and proggy skyward voyages into the stratosphere. Governing it all and similarly diverse is vocalist Tommy Schweizer, whose voice veers between throaty growls and melodic passages that confidently dip and soar from plane to plane. All of these elements are performed capably and competently, fused in a manner that never seems forced or uncomfortable and the musicians are clearly talented in terms of technical chops. This makes for some decent moments, such as the vague (and quite possibly unintentional) Neurosis vibe to be found during the opening track or the thoroughly enjoyable workout provided by 'I, Stillborn'. Duffer moments ('A Thousand Lives' falls rather flat) and your own ability to take Schweizer's unctuous operatics aside, I think my main misgivings come down to a question of bite. Despite the ideas on display, the band rarely threaten to thwart, crush or hobble. Cranked up a notch, for example, the solo to 'Among The Shards' could truly garrotte you, but instead it just provides a playful goosing. And so it goes throughout: largely enjoyable but lacking the exhilarating nitro boost that bands like Vektor, Wild Throne or Watchtower provide. There's enough here to have had me persevering beyond the initial sour comments and eye-rolls 'Fragments' elicited, but I now thing the pair of us have rather reached a plateau. It's a bit of a shame, really, but we can nonetheless smile, shake hands and go about our business as we were before we met, not even thinking too hard about why it maybe didn't work out.


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