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Burning The Day - "Blacklisted" (CD)

Burning The Day - "Blacklisted" CD cover image

"Blacklisted" track listing:

1. Pistols and Pigs
2. Left for Wolves
3. In Memory
4. The Last Monarch
5. Rope in Hand
6. In the Wake of Warning
7. Save Yourself
8. Bullet in a Big Shell
9. Aspirations of Gaza
10. Blacklisted

Reviewed by on July 19, 2010

"Toronto’s Burning the Day tries their best to breathe new life into metalcore with their third album, 'Blacklisted.'"

It’s fair to say that metalcore has become an inside joke of the metal world. Years of mediocrity and lack of creativity have led to the genre’s decline in popularity, with many bands now denouncing the metalcore name. Toronto’s Burning the Day tries their best to breathe new life into metalcore with their third album, “Blacklisted.” The album is a catchy and melodic record that uses mainstream ideals coupled with moments of heaviness and great musicianship. Fans of the genre who’ve been frustrated with lackluster releases over the last few years may have found their new favorite band.

“Blacklisted” starts off with the aggressive and catchy track “Pistols and Pigs,” which features a driving main melody as the backbone, with impressive guitar solos from guitarists Braden Hoey and Matt Metcalfe woven in between. “Pistols and Pigs” has a big chorus as well, which makes for a great album opener that lingers in the mind. “The Last Monarch” follows in the same direction with the abrasive/clean vocal switches, great guitar work, and also includes a well executed breakdown section. Which is also the first original breakdown performed by any band in the last 5 years. As far as breakdowns in metalcore go, that's really saying something.

“In the Wake of Warning” is the greatest example of this band’s talent, opening with a speedy, technical lead guitar riff that could fit on any melodic death metal record. The song then continues on to showcase the talent of drummer Steve Mitchell who blasts and pummels his way around the skins. “In the Wake of Warning,” which is the heaviest song from “Blacklisted,” also includes some fantastic dual guitar solos that trade back and forth, which is worth an immediate second listen. The song is the perfect combination of Burning the Day’s accessible vocal approach and the fusion of melodic aggression.

Labeling Burning the Day as metalcore really only happens by default due to their constant transitions of the harsh and radio friendly vocal styles between verse and chorus. But with repeated listens they reveal themselves to be so much more. Power metal, melodic death metal, pop, rock and hardcore are all fused into their songwriting, which both helps and hurts the band. Not everything on “Blacklisted” can be considered as metal with tracks such as “Left For Wolves,” “Save Yourself,” and “In Memory” falling in between the radio single category, which could turn off a lot of potential listeners craving more of Burning the Day’s heavier side. Regardless, the band is good at what they do and fans looking for a new take on the metalcore genre will enjoy “Blacklisted.”

Burning the Day sound like a band right on the edge of making it big. With catchy hooks, radio ready songs to appeal to the masses, and occasional moments of brute force they have all the qualities needed to breakthrough into today’s mainstream metal scene. As a whole they may not appeal to everyone but “Blacklisted” is a good record that has something to offer for fans of many different genres outside of the metalcore banner. Burning the Day has set a course to make an impact and “Blacklisted” brings them closer to that goal.

Highs: The heavier tracks, such as "In the Wake of Warning," are fantastic and can appeal to a wide range of listeners.

Lows: The few radio ready singles will turn off alot of potential fans.

Bottom line: 'Blacklisted' is a much needed revamp to the metalcore sound.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

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)