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The Burden - "The Burden" (CD/EP)

The Burden - "The Burden" CD/EP cover image

"The Burden" track listing:

1. Abscond The Array
2. Longing For Sickness
3. A Cold Day In Hell
4. Strains

Reviewed by on November 22, 2009

"For such a loud and fast bunch of guys, it's funny that the last thing we'll probably hear from this band is the acoustic guitar section that comprises the last two minutes of the otherwise bruising 'Strains.'"

It's always too bad when a band breaks up before it reaches its full potential. That's why I was sad to look up Luxembourg thrashers The Burden's MySpace page after receiving the band's self-titled four-song demo to review.

I'm not saying that The Burden was going to be "the next big thing" by any means, but the opening blast of guitar, followed by a great swooping bass note on the opening track, "Abscond The Array," was enough to show me that The Burden could deliver the death metal goods. The three minutes and 42 seconds that followed were a great mix of slow and blazing fast riffs, with a few lead guitar fills to keep things interesting. Guitarists Marc and Stefano clearly had a rapport that worked — at least musically speaking, and David, the drummer, was pretty adept at keeping things together, despite the fact that the guitarists had an intriguing way of playing just a shade behind the beat in some spots.

The second track, "Longing For Sickness," has more of a thrash feel, with an opening and several sections that wouldn't be out of place on an Anthrax record. It's slower, groovier and has more of a sense of melody amid vocalist Gil's shouting. Add to that an honest to goodness guitar solo and more of a unified feeling, and you've got what would seem to be the best thing you'll ever hear from this band.

The third track, "A Cold Day In Hell," has a similar feeling, but suffers by comparison — and from the fact that having two such similar tracks on a demo EP might not have been such a great idea. Still, it's not a bad track at all.

For such a loud and fast bunch of guys, it's funny that the last thing we'll probably hear from this band is the acoustic guitar section that comprises the last two minutes of the otherwise bruising "Strains." It seems strangely appropriate that it's got such an elegiac feel to it.

It's a shame that these guys broke up before they could polish off some of the raw edges. Sure, for a demo, it's got great sound, but there are moments where the drums sound awfully tinny. And there are a few moments during some of the faster sections of the songs when things come perilously close to flying off the rails rhythmically speaking.

Then again, it's not like the band is completely history. Guitarist Stefano and drummer David are still together in the now-renamed "Akin," though Maks the bassist and Mark the guitarist are gone. Here's hoping Akin comes up with some good metal akin to what The Burden was able to put out in these four tracks.

Highs: The opening of "Abscond The Array," the more melodic "Longing For Sickness."

Lows: "A Cold Day In Hell," though not bad, is too similar to "Longing For Sickness."

Bottom line: A good demo from a band that could've gone on to do something great.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)