Burn in Silence - Angel Maker
Prosthetic Records
10 songs (38:09)
Release year: 2006
Burn in Silence, Prosthetic Records
Reviewed by Al
Surprise of the month

U.S. Metalcore. A simple term used to define a subgenre of metal to some. To others however, the simple mentioning of said term unfortunately causes certain unpleasant side effects and symptoms. These include, but are not limited to; chronic boredom, offended sensibilities, confusion, unrestrained rage, derision, sardonic laughter and depression. These symptoms can often occur in relation to such conditions as ‘elitism’ and ‘cenophobia’ (the fear of new things) but can also be attributed, as in the case of this writer, to the condition of ‘overexposure to an endless stream of below average metalcore acts with no end in sight resulting in severe jadedness and desire for death’ or to give it its latin name, ohchristnotthisshitagain.

That aside, I have a duty as a reviewer, a duty that necessitates me listening to things which I may not initially want to in an effort to assess them and supply you, the reader, with the results. I know, I’m so very, very brave. Thus it was with a heavy heart and this momentous burden on my shoulders that I approached the latest slice of the aforementioned genre in the form of Boston band Burn in Silence’s debut album, Angel Maker.

The thing with metalcore is that on very rare occasions, a band will either do something original with the template and produce something relevant and interesting or just follow the template yet manage to inject that certain ‘X factor’ into the music, thus making it rather good. The good news is that Burn in Silence just manages to scrape into the latter category, at least on most tracks. The bad news is that on other tracks they dive headfirst into the mire of mediocrity in which many of their peers languish incessantly.

The band’s sound, on first listen, seems to come across as pretty cookie-cutter metalcore. All stuttering thrashing riffs, machine gun drumming and ‘hardcore’ growled vocal verses / clean sung choruses. So far so heard it all before. After a few listens though, little nuances such as the occasional use of keyboards, the oft times off kilter drumming and the impressive rhythmic tightness of the band as a whole come through. This does not happen on every track unfortunately but it happens enough to push the album kicking and screaming into the ‘worth listening to’ category.

I’ll start with some examples of the good, The Age in Which Tomorrow Brings is easily the best track on offer. It throws everything the band have into the mix, a short keyboard intro, crushing riffs, good drumming and an annoyingly infectious chorus. Embrace the Plague and Rebirth get an honourable mention for similar reasons. There are also a few instances were the band departs into heavier, more brutal and more technical territory, verging on death metal at times. The best example of this being When Dead Leaves Fall, starting with punishing quick fire drumming which makes way for some of the more interesting riffing on offer all accompanied by keyboard inflections.

The bad? As I mentioned the band can occasionally sound uninspiring and like everyone else out there. Tracks like Primal Human Pain and World of Regret pass by in a haze of dull predictability and leave no lasting effect on the musical psyche. The clean vocals can occasionally sound a bit bland and strained, but fortunately the key word there is ‘occasionally’.

All in all this was far better than I expected. While doing nothing spectacularly different or original, Burn in Silence have managed to produce a more than decent album which is far more than I can say for many big label bands of this genre. I hope that they both get some recognition and equally recognise that they have to spice up certain aspects of their sound in order to have any lasting impact. Hopefully the sophomore effort will pull them completely out of the mire as opposed to just poking their heads out of it as they are now.

Myspace page with 4 songs

Killing Songs :
The Age in Which Tomorrow Brings, Rebirth and When Dead Leaves Fall
Al quoted 73 / 100
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