Thrash Hits

September 8th, 2009

Album: Burnt By The Sun – Heart Of Darkness

burnt by the sun relapse thrash hits band promo photo 2009

Burnt By The Sun
Heart Of Darkness
Relapse Records
19 August 2009

by Mike Strata

It’s not quite time yet to look back in retrospect on the good, the bad and the ugly albums 2009 has served up to us, but one thing is abundantly clear – 2009 has been the year of the comeback. From the monolithic crunch of Coalesce’s Ox, to Cave In’s sparkling return to form with their Planets Of Old 12 inch, some of the late 90s and early 00s’ most influential and downright incredible bands have crawled out of hiding to hit us full in the face with a flurry of the year’s best releases.

In a year where the execrable “screamo-crunk” and “crabcore” have become genuine descriptive terms for bands, it’s refreshing to see the old guard returning to their roots and in the process blasting most of these young pretenders right out of the water.

Burnt By The Sun Heart Of Darkness cover packshot artwork Thrash Hits

Burnt By The Sun is a band you should know. If you don’t, then either a) you’re new to this whole “heavy music” thing – in which case come on in, the water’s lovely – or b) you’re reading the wrong website. This is a band that helped shape metalcore back before the term became a byword for mediocrity, a band whose 2003 album, The Perfect Is The Enemy Of The Good, is almost the perfect example of what metalcore could and should be, and a band who many thought we’d never hear from again. Heart Of Darkness may sound like a cast-off album title from Killswitch Engage, but don’t let that put you off. This is a defiant wake-up call to peers and fans alike – this is what heavy music should sound like.

‘Inner Station’ starts with a frantic, discordant riff, pummelling drums and Mike Olender’s anguished screams before locking into a terrifying groove. The band’s magnificent fusion of grind, metal and hardcore sound as fresh as it ever did and the pace of the album is relentless. The one-two punch of ‘There Will Be Blood’ and ‘Goliath’ acts as a fantastic centrepiece to the album, showcasing all elements of the band’s sound, the former being as brutal as one could wish, with the latter opting for a more epic approach, rounded out with stellar drum work. Dave Witte is one of the most solid, consistently creative drummers around and his work on Heart Of Darkness is no exception.

Watch Burnt By The Sun explaining why Heart Of Darkness is “the heaviest album of all time”.

Unfortunately for us all, Heart Of Darkness is to be Burnt By The Sun’s swansong album, but they couldn’t possibly have left us with a better reminder of what we’re about to lose. The band is set to play a handful of dates upon our shores later this year before going their separate ways – shows that should not be missed by any fan of heavy music. Whether you’re a grizzled veteran fan of “traditional” metal(core), a youngster looking for something new and exciting, or simply a person who yearns for the days when a £75 haircut and day-glo t-shirt were not prerequisites for heavy bands, then you need Heart Of Darkness in your life.

5.5/6

Sounds like: What we always wanted metalcore to sound like
Top tracks: There Will Be Blood, Goliath, Inner Station

Burnt By The Sun – Heart Of Darkness tracklisting
Inner Station
Cardiff Giant
F-Unit
Party To The Unsound Method, A
There Will Be Blood
Goliath
Rust/Future Primitive
Beacon
Great America Dream Machine, The
Wolves Are Running, The

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