posted on 11/2008 By:
For the most part, I enjoy most of the albums I review in my various metal journalism outlets. I’d say I enjoy or like about 70% of what I hear, have no real emotions about 10% of it, hate about 10% of it and truly admire about 7% of it. What about the other 3%?
That’s reserved for albums like Lazarus Bird. That rare album that astounds and dazzles with its brilliance, the album that leaves you truly awestruck and delivers a moving, emotional, deep listening experience, not just an album.
Developing the sound parlayed on Origo, which saw the band distance themselves from mere Isis clones, Sweden's Burst sound like what I imagine Mastodon and Neurosis might sound like if placed in a Nyquil fuled blender. Serpentine, adventurous riffage melded artfully with dreamy, experimental post rock prose, structures and atmospheres that swell and peak which a painfully brilliant sense of clarity, timing, delivery and musicianship.
Each of the eight tracks on Lazarus Bird is such a unique and creative entity, it's like layering eight separate pieces of art, that when combined, are choppy atonal bursts of hardcore, to deeply moving acoustics, ebbing segues of ambience, engrossing vocal interplay which all come together to form almost transcendentally brilliance. And none of the tracks wonders or outstays their welcome as many of their peers, with their points expressively made and delivered in 7-10 minute chunks of musical lucidity.
The unpredictability of the song structures unfolds minute by minute as the tracks expose new twists and turns or tangents that enthrall. Both opener “I Hold Vertigo” and “I Exterminate the I” stagger and jerk in their initial phases before unraveling some breathtaking shifts and segues. “We Are Dust” offers a somber introspective opening refrain before an artful transition into sterner, exquisitely territory. “Momentum” teases at mid album instrumental break, before unleashing a rousing militaristic riff and crumbling peak for its last few minutes. Then Burst delivers the album's best cut with “Cripple God” with its lurching Mastodon start and just cripplingly evocative chorus and solo work. Just, wow. “Nineteenhundred” has a hard act to follow, and admittedly is too discordant after the prior track's brilliance, and the late appearance by a saxophone never quite peaks. Still, “(We Watched) the Silver Rain” delivers another gorgeous song ending climax and “City Cloaked” ends the album with a lengthy but textured, tumultuous diatribe for settling into a perfect album ending fade out.
By this time of year I usually have my top three or five records of the year pretty much set in stone, however, Burst have royally fucked things up (especially seeing as I submitted my list to Metal Maniacs already).
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