Italian metallers Burn of Black have a sound which you almost feel should not work but as their new EP Danger shows it does and with very enjoyable effect. Combining what is primarily a blend of alternative and gothic metal as well as thrash, heavy, and power metal, the release consists of songs which twist and thrive with multiple flavours. At times there is so much thrown in that it borders the outskirts of messy but the Cavarzere quintet fused it together with passion and skill to produce a release which is richly contagious.
Formed by guitarist Marco “Markwild” Piva, Burn of Black instantly brought the influences of various musical backgrounds and experiences of its members into play with the band adding and evolving additional flavours and sounds as line-ups changes occurred over subsequent years. Inspirations from the likes of Exodus, Testament, Nightwish, and Kamelot, to gothic and melodic death spiced the early sound and with further diversity riling up and expanding the music with each change of personnel, the result is a riot of multi-coloured enterprise which despite almost overloading its invention into a disorientating maelstrom, ignites potent hunger and a full enjoyment for its adventure.
With a line-up of vocalist Giacomo Cordioli, guitarist Alessandro Bassani, bassist Sylvia Fabbris, and drummer Alberto Lèmoni alongside Piva sculpting its assault, the Inverse Records/Sweet Poison released Danger makes the strongest initial persuasion with Thrown Into The Chasm. The track is a mesmerising instrumental formed from dawning ambience, delicious acoustic lilted guitar embracing, and rising intensity of epic melodic breath. It is a dawn to the release which lures one in fully though the following Fears Driven To Insanity immediately avoids the expectations the previous piece sparks. The track unleashes short sharp scythes of sinew strapped riffs and equally imposing beats whilst the guitars bring their own abrasion to bear on an already eager ear. Into its stride with the bass and riffing as carnivorous as you could wish for, a trait of the whole release, the song whips up a furious energy mixed with great melodic vocals from Cordoli, his delivery set in classic airs and contrasting perfectly the aggressively carved presence in place. Twisting and shifting its stance with elements of nu, progressive, and post hardcore added to the blaze, and impressive sonic skill endeavour from Piva, the track is an enthralling and thrilling fire to bring the EP into full view.
The following Charon’s Rebellion gnaws on the bones and senses of the listener within seconds, the corrosive riffs coated in brutality and predatory intensity. Whilst they chew and subjugate the ear, the vocals calm the wounds with again great melodic persuasion whilst the emerging groove is as infectious as the harshness around it is intrusive. Once again the band merges diverse elements into a seamless understanding union which only intrigues and flips the switch of passion. To be honest going against what was said earlier slightly, the more a track and the release is ventured and embraced, clarity of thought and intent emerges and dispels the feel of closely missed chaos.
The title track lacks the dramatic power and presence of its predecessors, a classic metal flame making the biggest call within the still rapacious riffing and rhythmic bombardment. The song is impressively presented and constructed but fails to find the hook and grip of the others tracks, and arguably it’s less intense mesh of flavours is the cause of its weaker presence. There is no such comment applied to closer Slave In Chains. A mere breath between songs is all it takes for the release to raise another major snarl and vicious surge of riveting and caustic riffing accompanied by a groove which dances on the passions with wanton mischief flanked by a warm melodic breeze. Drummer Lèmoni has his most impressive moment whilst the bass of Fabbris prowls and threatens with bestial depth. It is an excellent track which like the song just before, does not infuse a vast amount of flavouring but this time hones it into a brawling exhilarating storm.
The Danger EP is a release which might split opinions though it is hard to imagine anyone not finding enough to offer up a positive outlook upon it, but for us it is a release which is adventurous and invigorating. In many ways there is nothing new going on but equally there are few bands creating a sound from so many varied and rich existing essences as enjoyably as Burn In Black do. The Danger EP just might be the start of something big.
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