Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Burweed - Hide (Album Review)

Lye cover art

Album Type: Album
Date Released: February 2015
Label: Inverse Records

Hide – Track Listing

1. Swallow
2. Lye
3. Lie
4. Dilate
5. Tire Iron


Toni Raukola
Eetu Lehtinen
Lauri Tattari


Helsinki trio, Burweed did a good job of shaking my preconception that all bands from Finland are mysterious occult doom types (see any number of excellent releases from Svart records). The band claim to be a hybrid of post metal and sludge, but one listen to their debut LP “Hide” reveals them to be something quite different.

Swallow” grabs the listener’s attention with some tasty riffage that recalls a smoother Mastodon topped with hoarse vocals. Things then take a left turn into more melodic territory complete with some cool, squelchy, sci-fi bass effects. The overall effect is not dissimilar to the kind of heavy progressive alt rock made by the sadly defunct Oceansize.

Over the course of the next five tracks, Burweed continue to combine heaviness with more relaxed passages in distinctive fashion. The quieter sections avoid the trappings you would normally expect of post metal, favouring intricate instrumental interplay over effects-based atmosphere, although “Dilate” does build to a satisfyingly soaring climax not unlike Red Sparowes in their prime. The heavier sections lack the real filth and grime to feel like sludge, but work well on their own terms, providing a pleasant crunch to proceedings. “Lye” even adds a, dare I say, emo edge with its earnest heavy chorus but Burweed manage to pull off this difficult task and still make it sound good. It’s this willingness to take chances that makes “Hide” a refreshing listen and marks Burweed out as a very different proposition to many of their peers.

After its initial interesting laid back tremolo intro, “Tire Iron” is a bit of a let-down after the solid first four tracks, feeling a bit like a retread of previous successful ideas. Thinks pick up again for closer “Hide / Defend” though, with another voyage through peaks and troughs of volume culminating in a heavily reverbed dustbowl dirge, complete with woozy tremolo bends for added effect.

With “Hide”, Burweed show that you don’t always need layer upon layer of crushing distortion and walls of delay to make an interesting, heavy, progressive album.

Words by Charlie Butler

Thanks to Inverse Records for the promo. Hide is available to buy now via Inverse Records.

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