Aside from a bunch of bluegrass and a bit of green grass, musically this summer was a somewhat of a musical bummer. Find out a major reason why below.
Gonna have difficulty pulling the punches on this one. “Origo” is easily the worst album I’ve picked up in a long time. In a very brief quest to find more bands that sound like Cult of Luna, I successfully found a band that does sound like CoL, if they completely, utterly and incessantly feasted upon anus.
To contextualize a bit, the whole post-metal scene isn’t really my thing. I’ve got a grudging level of respect for Neurosis, have an Isis EP, and don’t mind when black metal gets a bit gray. The one band that’s always stood out for me in the scene, though, is Cult of Luna. “Salvation” and “Somewhere Along the Highway” are both 9.5 to 10/10s, fo shizzlet. Their more recent output leaves me a little cold, but I have faith the mysterious Swedes will come through again in the future. So in reading that these Burst dudes had been around a long time, were Swedish, and sounded like CoL, I went ahead and bought their best-reviewed album.
And it is very bad. Those reviewers are very wrong. Burst sounds like CoL’s whiny, wimpy younger sibling who sniffs his older brother’s dirty underwear when he thinks no one is watching. I AM WATCHING, AND I DISAPPROVE. The harsh vocals are a weaker version of the throat-ripping shouts employed by CoL. The clean vocals are altogether much more emo than those sparsely used in CoL, and sound vaguely like the love child of Thom Yorke and Michael Cera. The pretty parts aren’t as pretty, the sludgy parts aren’t as sludgy. I do have to give them credit (and .2 points) for attempting what sounds like a little bit of death metal here and there, but for the most part it all falls flat. If the goal of the DM parts was to be evil, hombres, the bad news is that you sound about as demonic as “Veil of Maya”. To be fair, there was a brief portion of “It Comes Into View” that I was actually starting to enjoy (no coincidence that it’s instrumental). But then they sampled a crying baby on top of the damn thing, firmly adding pretentiousness to the list of sins committed here.
Indeed, Burst is so grating that it made me re-evaluate my love for those mid-period CoL albums. Am I really a fan of music that sounds like this? Many moments on “Origo” had me looking around the train on my evening commute to be sure no one else heard that I was actually listening to this shit. Embarrassing. Not to mention the cover, which looks like a scene from the last time IG led a fit young Boy Scout troop out into the woods of Maryland. All that remains of those kids is some found footage…
So one point and no thanks to Burst, who caused me to question my enjoyment of some genuinely good music by churning out a crappy caricature thereof. It will be a long time before I buy anything post-, aside from Raisin Bran, again.