Sunday, January 15, 2012

Burn Idols - 2012 Theodicy

Band : Burn Idols
Album : Theodicy
Release Year : 2012
Genre : Hardcore | Crust | Grindcore
Tracklist :
1. Anchored in Pain, Dead to the World
2. This Sterile Ethic Breathes
3. A Thorn in Our Side
4. It Fosters a Disconnection
5. From Finity
6. Lulls us to False Security
7. Our Life in Silence

As you may have guessed based simply on the album art, Burn Idols’ full-length debut is a dizzyingly dark and morose affair not far from the confines of metal and hardcore punk that leaves little room to think, let alone breath. What you may not have guessed is that Theodicy is also a poignant exercise in duality and dynamism that leaves astoundingly little room for critique.

The most egregious display of this duality, which combines aspects of hardcore, doom and grind into one, disgustingly heavy package, comes in the vocals. The band infuses booming, guttural vocals that are expertly paired with acidic, screamo screeching. What’s much more impressive than the simple inclusion of these details is the execution of them. The two combine into a hybrid monster that creates a very narrow and aimed, crushing aura. This follows suit perfectly with the rest of the album, a trend noticeable not far into the ordeal.

The dynamism of Theodicy isn’t on display in the first track “Anchored In Pain, Dead To The World,” which teems with static and dishearteningly slow doom metal chords. Though upon the introduction of “This Sterile Ethic Breathes,” the true atmosphere of the album asserts itself, and its heaviness is unrelenting. Of all the poignant moments of depravity and atmosphere, perhaps the most outstanding of these is performed on “It Fosters A Disconnection.” When the music drops out, background static and all, the band lets more than a few seconds pass before launching into a joint screaming heyday. It demonstrates that this hybrid the band employs indeed works. Imbuing doom and grind with screamo aspects could have been an ugly cunt of an album better left for the garbage disposal, but the mature, captivating Theodicy is anything but.

Where their maturity shines darkest is in Burn Idols’ songwriting. By performing a chief balancing act between the moments of cathartic thickness and more sparse instrumentation which is accompanied only by static and lone doom chords, the band yields a sound well beyond their years. I think that this control and attention to detail, especially in balancing the instrumental scarcity and vocal chaos, is an often overlooked property, and is what propels Burn Idols from a “band with a cool sound,” to a band that should be essential listening for the new year. -Martin L.

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