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Album Review

The big difference between Sweden's Burst and most of the other progressive metal bands of their ilk, like Neurosis, Isis, or compatriots Cult of Luna, is that — to quote Men in Black: "[Burst] make this look good!" Not in the sense that they're Viking pretty boys or anything, but because their songs manage to be so marvelously compact where others' go on, and on, and on. Indeed, like concentrated cyclones to those bands' vast hurricanes, most of Burst's songs relinquish little in the way of power or complexity, while boasting just as much form-challenging invention. And where this more compressed approach at times made for mixed results on their previous outing, 2003's Prey on Life, on Origo Burst have fine-tuned their always abundant songwriting creativity to an altogether higher, pinpoint focus. Standouts like "Where the Wave Broke" (a tribute to Tsunami-victim and Nasum singer Miesko Talarczyk, which could also double for recently deceased Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas author Hunter S. Thompson), "Homebound," and "Mercy Liberation" combine utterly startling contrasts of sonic light and shade that often achieve a soundtrack-like quality. Strung together end to end, they comprise a broad panoramic canvas belying their shortened lengths, and nestle other interesting offerings such as "Flight's End," which incorporates female vocals, the unnaturally all-mellow, Pink Floyd-recalling instrumental "It Comes into View," and several infuriated flare-ups in "Sever," "Slave Emotion," and "Stormwielder," whose purely hardcore-sourced intensity is rarely heard among Burst's competition. Yes, despite all these features, some listeners may still miss those bands' more deliberately paced journeys into the unknown, but Burst and Origo's tradeoff is offering similar emotional release, without taking up all of your day. Recommended.


Formed: 1993 in Sweden

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '00s

Though Sweden's Burst originally formed as early as 1993 and released a few underground releases in the next few years (1996's Shadowcaster EP, 1998's Two Faced LP), it wasn't until 1999 that vocalist Linus Jägerskog, guitarists Jonas Rydberg and Robert Reinholdz, bassist Jesper Liveröd (ex-Nasum), and drummer Patrik Hultin perfected the explorative, metallic musical direction they were to become known for. First introduced on 2001's Conquest: Writhe album, this involved feeding the group's uncompromisingly...
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Origo, Burst
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