Released: 2003, Relapse Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Burst is another new addition to the Relapse Records roster and these Swedes are a bit of a dog’s breakfast: metalcore, screamo, thrash, traditional metal and loads of melodies. A more melodic Neurosis comes to mind at times, while a less gloomy Eyes of Fire shines through at others. PREY ON LIFE is a very interesting listening experience and when approached with an open mind, will be a very pleasant one, as well.
Linus Jakerskog’s aggressive vocal delivery never wavers from pissed-off screams but it does suit the music nicely. The distorted vocals on “Crystal Asunder” and “Epidemic” mix things up but even they are still harsh. The dual guitar riffing of Jonas Rydberg and Robert Reinholdz is not the standard fare either. There are loads of complex riffs and weird pedal effects used that are often barely there but add so much to the songs. Math metal riffing isn’t really the right description but it is as unique as that anyway. Patrik Hultin’s drums are mixed high and tight and are often left to open or close a song. The outro of “Undoing (Prey On Life)” is a battery of snares and drum fills, while Hultin is left to shine during an extended middle section of “Rain.” The instrumental “Fourth Sun” features a sampled drum and simple, melancholy riff that has been stuck in my head for days. “Visionary” is similar in tone but the aggressive, yet emotive, delivery is perfectly balanced. The guitars are never overpowering and are set just right in the mix so that Jakerskog’s pained vocals can draw the listener in.
PREY ON LIFE is a real surprise coming from the Scandinavian lands where death and black metal runs the show. Well-produced and quite unique, this record is not for everyone but for those willing to take a shot and “think outside the box,” give Burst a spin.
KILLER KUTS: “Undoing (Prey On Life),” “Rain,” “Fourth Sun,” “Visionary”