Sunday, August 3, 2008

Burden of a Day - 'Blessed Be Our Ever After'

When you say something often enough, like “I love you” or “fuck you,” it loses it’s meaning. Likewise, in the metal/hardcore game, there are certain elements that, thanks to oversaturation, don’t quite hit as hard as they should. With Burden of a Day’s Blessed Be Our Ever After, I hear an inventive band struggling to break free from hardcore clichés, most of which are in the vocal department.

Timing just under 38 minutes, Blessed Be Our Ever After is a bipolar record. Even the song titles are at odds with each other, as the super serious ones (“I’m Only Laughing on the Outside”) don’t mesh that well with the more jokingly minded (“Sorry Seacrest It’s Casey’s Countdown”). So whenever the band hits the grizzly bear vox + breakdown segment of its songs, especially during the first half of the album, all I can do I is laugh, because it’s too over-the-top, overused, and not particularly interesting. Same goes for the clean vocals – the whine makes me want to slag Burden of a Day as a screamo act.

But there are some legitimately interesting segments to Blessed Be Our Ever After. The band’s instrumental compositions experiment with ambient, mildly psychedelic guitar lines that defy metal conventions, like on the electronica, Minus the Bear-tinged “Umbrellas.” Most of these songs, though, feel like two ideas – one good and one bad – mashed together. Blessed Be Our Ever After could be an indicator of two paths. Burden of a Day established that they at least know to play damn well here, and their next album could very well melt my face with genre-stomping defiance. Or, they could turn into another watered down, pseudo-screamo act.

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