Wednesday 20 February 2013

Burnsred - S/T (Album Review)

Burnsred is an active 3-piece atmospheric Sludge / Doom outfit from San Francisco, USA. 

Their line-up consists of:

Robin - Guitar / Vocals / Keyboards
Ryan - Bass / Keyboard / Programming
Kevin -Drums / Vocals


1. Mirror - 7:26
2. Standby - 6:57
3. Cleanse CMXCIX - 9:43
4. A Sentence - 8:48
5. Scissors - 7:06
6. Beartrap - 8:26


This trio is based in San Fransisco, California, and are fairly new to the scene, having formed in 2007. They are unsigned, touting this as their first self-released full-length. Attributing influences on their sound include acts such as: Neurosis, Burning Witch, Asunder, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.


This outfit delivers a textured sound which is rich with atmosphere, galvanizing elements of sludge, post, black, and doom. With melodies cascading ambiently between calm and harsh, they have acquired quite the range in sound. I was impressed with the production and quality of this release alone, being the first under their belt.

Personally, they remind me of blackened sludgers Eibon and Ensorcelor. Both  rank top-notch in my book and are sure to catch the ears of anyone into this style. The track I'm drawn to the most is 'Cleanse CMXCIX' - incorporating groove and that down-tempo riffage we all know and love - which ties the rest of the album together nicely.

The vocals, albeit not terrible, seem more well suited for a traditional black metal band, boring an audience to tears in some shitty underground club, complete with spike arm bands and leather clothing. They are not terrible in the least, but do no seem to compliment what Burnsred are trying to pull off.  Put those same vocals with an up and coming Norwegian black metal band still hopelessly clinging on to the days of what made the scene so great, and they would fit perfectly.

Burnsred pull off the sludge genre pretty flawlessly with one small minor complaint.  The way they seem to meaninglessly throw in these sections that fit nowhere in the song, tends to bug me a bit.  They seem to be doing it more or less to say they did it instead of letting the song flourish into it's own beast.  Call me crazy, but the release would have been far better off without those sections. Still, this is just a small issue I have, which really doesn't bring down the flow of this album too much.

What Burnsred accomplish with their self-titled release is an excellent notch in the belt of the sludge metal genre. Granted it's nothing new or exciting, it's just really good music which is all anyone can ask for nowadays. In a time where it seems the more extreme forms of music are getting more mediocre releases, Burnsred are definitely doing great things. The main problem with sludge releases is how they can suddenly become boring out of nowhere. Burnsred keep things fresh and interesting throughout the whole album.

The release was put out in mid 2011. You can check them out on Bandcamp and acquire this in either CD or digital format for a mere 5 bucks. Teabag Approved!

Upcoming shows:

4/20/10 - 8 PM Kimo's - San Fransisco - (Lidtoker, Hazzard's Cure, Nine Worlds )

9/13/09 - 6 PM Annie's Social Club - San Fransisco - (Mendozza, Damnweevil, Litany for the Whale) 

4/16/09 - 9 PM Annie's Social Club - San Fransisco - (The Secret, Early Graves, Arise)


Burnsred - S/T (2011)