German melodic-thrash-death-doom… (or however you want to call them!) metaller’s, Burden of Grief have been doing well over the last few years with positive reviews global-wide, European festival appearances and headlining tours. This year also sees the band celebrating their 20th anniversary, and what better way is there to celebrate than to release a brand new album?! Considering it’s been a lengthy four years since their last release, the long-awaited 6th album, Unchained is finally here.
Opening track “Awaken the Nightmare” starts with an eerily beautiful intro, before breaking into a chuggy, almost traditional heavy metal sounding riff, then speeding the pace up until you suddenly find yourself tapping a foot and lightly banging your head. The vocals are raw and heavy, whilst the drums and groove-laden riffs really add something to this song. What that “something” is exactly? – erm, well, that’s a little slippery to define – likewise with the style, which seems to neatly side-step from any specific genre. It’s a good start to the album.
“Operation Eagle Eye” features some insanely groovy and catchy riffs, solid drumming and powerful metal vocals. I like it! It’s fast-paced, and really gets the head moving and I seem to find myself half dancing, or bobbing about, when listening to it. In addition, “The Final Chapter” and “Your Heaven Is Gone” feature some incredibly heavy riffs and vicious grooves, with drum beats that sound like Sebastian Robrecht is mentally pounding the shit out someone.
End track “Black Evolution 666” starts us off with a melodic opening, which quickly turns into fast and heavy guitar riffs, scathing vocals and solid drumming. All in all it’s a good ending to Unchained.
The digi-pak bonus track “Another Way To Die” shows the bands’ classic rock side whilst simultaneously keeping to their heavy style, if that’s at all possible! Bonus track no. 2 features a cover of Black Sabbath’s, “Neon Knights”. Now, I’m a BIG fan of the original and Burden of Grief’s adaptation definitely isn’t terrible…I mean, it’s not the worst I’ve heard. They’ve made it a whole lot heavier in their distinctive way, the guitars are chunky and powerful, and the drumming is solid… it seems to have even doubled in pace!
Okay, so… like a lot of albums I find myself reviewing these days, there are some parts during the album where it all gets a bit too repetitious, a little ‘samey’, until you briefly realise that your mind’s been travelling elsewhere before zoning back in. Fans of the Burden of Grief will not be disappointed and if you like your music heavy as a ton of bricks, groovy, fast and subtly traditional in parts then you should definitely give Unchained a listen!
Released 18th July via Massacre Records (Also available as limited edition digipak with two exclusive bonus tracks, incl. “Neon Knights” (Black Sabbath Cover). )
1. Awaken The Nightmare
3. Sounds Of Desperation
4. Operation Eagle Eye
5. Fearless Heart
6. The Final Chapter
7. Your Heaven Is Gone
8. Turmoil To The Void
9. Black Evolution 666
10. Another Way To Die (Digipak Bonus Track)
11. Neon Knights (Bonus)
Mike Huhmann – Vocals
Philipp Hanfland – Guitars
Johannes Rudolph – Guitars
Florian Bauer – Bass
Sebastian Robrecht – Drums