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The Browning - "Burn this World" (CD)

The Browning - "Burn this World" CD cover image

"Burn this World" track listing:

1. No Escape (1:58)
2. Not Alone (3:32)
3. Bloodlust (4:02)
4. Standing On The Edge (2:43)
5. Burn This World (2:43)
6. Ashamed (3:24)
7. Living Dead (3:40)
8. Forgotten (2:54)
9. Time Will Tell (3:08)
10. Tragedy Of Perfection (3:17)
11. Dominator (3:51)
12. I Choose You (3:16)
13. The Sadist (4:49)

Reviewed by on September 29, 2011

"It’s catchy, danceable, and heavy enough for the kids to latch onto. In the case of most metalheads, 'Burn This World' will come off as a dull, one-note affair."

The Browning takes a novel concept - mashing together deathcore and electronics/techno - and gets a good amount of mileage out of it on their studio debut “Burn This World.” This pairing has started to become somewhat of a cult phenomenon lately, and The Browning is looking to take it to the Hot Topic crowd. It’s catchy, danceable, and heavy enough for the kids to latch onto. In the case of most metalheads, “Burn This World” will come off as a dull, one-note affair.

That one note is the electronics thrown at the music. There are layers of orchestral instruments, piano lines, funky bass, and futuristic synth to get people moving to the rhythm. For those not usually into metal, “Burn This World” may be an apt introduction. It has that mainstream appeal to gain an audience with those who love their dance beats. The Browning isn’t geared towards an older demographic, unless an old person loves to blast club mixes out of their car stereos in convenience store parking lots.

These songs are guaranteed to floor listeners in a live atmosphere, but as studio tracks, the energy is missing. The simplistic music is reliant on a steady dose of tuneless breakdowns, while the electronic aspect takes over the songs. Some parts are really cool, like the epic symphonic edge given to “Bloodlust” and “The Sadist,” and there are even some techno-heavy portions on “No Escape” that pulsate with a hip-shaking groove. It’s a lot friendlier than most industrial metal, which has a dirty edge underneath the beats and sampling.

Unlike industrial metal, the techno sounds The Browning are striving for have little depth to them. The album is screams, chugging breakdowns, and blaring electronics at all times. For the first few songs, it’s tolerable, and even enjoyable in a turn-your-brain-off kind of way. However, it becomes clear by about halfway in that there isn’t much else to the band. The songs are brief enough to not linger around, yet start to get boring and scattershot by the last third of the album.

“Burn This World” is a lighter version of industrial metal, though not as memorable as bands like Ministry, Nine Inch Nails and Static-X. The younger generation will be putting this on their playlist along with whatever the flavor-of-the-week deathcore band is. The electronics gel with the metal, but the songs don’t stretch beyond that combination in any justifiable manner. The Browning seems fine with just mixing the two and leaving it at that, but wasted potential is the main deterrent to “Burn This World.”

Highs: The electronics mix well with the metal on the first half, has the right appeal for those who want dance beats in their metal

Lows: Slowly gets worse in quality as album goes on, wasted potential, basic musicianship, ton of lackluster breakdowns

Bottom line: A mix of deathcore and electronics/techno that works well on the surface, but has little value underneath.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 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)