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The Perfect Is the Enemy of the Good

Burnt By the Sun

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Album Review

Consider this the true follow-up to Burnt by the Sun's hugely promising self-titled debut EP. This is the group's second full-length, following 2002's Soundtrack to the Personal Revolution, an album that was widely acclaimed yet still somewhat disappointing to some fans of the more experimental, grindcore-leaning EP. Soundtrack found the band reorienting to a sort of all-American, middle-of-the-road hardcore-metal fusion that, while still fairly heavy, seemed tame in comparison to that earlier release. Lyrically, it also came off as preachy and pedantic in spots. This disc remedies those problems, though. Musically, it falls somewhere between the EP and Soundtrack, merging melodic, groove-heavy metalcore with streaks of dissonant grindcore and Morbid Angel-worthy death metal. The songs in general flow better here than on the last album, with highlights "Battleship," "Forlani," and "Washington Tube Steak" exploding with riff after memorable, well-placed riff. Another standout, "Spinner Dunn," opens with an Egyptian-style guitar riff that proves Nile isn't the only band on Relapse with a knack for Middle-East-evoking metal. Michael Olender's lyrics are also much better and more insightful, focusing on themes of government corruption and warmongering, obviously inspired directly by the conflict in Iraq. He fills his lyrics with statistical references and specific details about things like the Council on Foreign Relations and the Tri-Lateral Commission, but not at the expense of more direct, emotional outbursts such as the climactic "Smells like/Bullsh*t/Smells like bullsh*t to me" on "180 Proof." In light of the growing number of metalcore bands watering down their music with wimpy emo choruses and melodramatic love lyrics that are virtually indistinguishable from bad pop radio hits, it is nice to see a real-deal band like Burnt by the Sun step up to the plate and deliver an album as solid and meaningful as this one.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

New Jersey's Burnt by the Sun was formed in November 1999 by ex-Human Remains drummer David Witte and guitarist John Adubato. Vocalist Michael Olender and bassist Ted Patterson joined soon after, and a self-titled EP brought them to the attention of metal-specialized Relapse Records. Impressed by the band's inventive, often humorous take on post-hardcore extreme metal, Relapse quickly signed the band and their...
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The Perfect Is the Enemy of the Good, Burnt By the Sun
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