Saturday 25 October 2014

The Art Of Burning Water - Living Is For Giving, Dying Is For Getting (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 20/10/2014
Label: Riot Season

‘Living Is For Giving, Dying Is For Getting’ CD/DD/LP track listing:

1. No Day Is Tragedy Free
2. You Get What You're Given
3. Happiness Always Ends In Tears
4. At The Hands Of Them
5. Feast Of Testicles
6. Snake State Nausea
7. It Will All Make Sense When We're Dead
8. December 14th 1990 (Sadness Begins)
9. Great British Hope Destroyer
10. How To Be A Worrier


Noise was made and dance halls emptied. Tears were shed and sorrow was aplenty. Laughter filled the vans and the smoke filled our lungs. With tinnitus to unite us, only we can make failure fun. Beats and noise strength in the face of some grim and harsh times. Intestinal fortitude tenfold. We'd make Mr. Balboa proud

The Band:

MIKE | Drums and P.M.A
KUNAL | Sub noize
GRIEF | High noise and throat


I’m not entirely sure how or why I thought The Art of Burning Water were some kind of quirky indie band, until I came across them a few years back. Since this point, I have come to associate them with bands such as Palehorse and the Afternoon Gentleman, and whilst different to the utter misery of the former and raging grind of the latter, they are definitely pushing their own kind of extremity.

Which brings us nicely to their latest; ‘Living is for giving, Dying is For Getting.’ After a brief sample ‘No Day Is Tragedy Free’ drags itself along in reluctant malice with white noise screams searing over the top and then, without warning they blast into the hyper punk of ‘You get what you’re given.’ It’s pretty clear that accessibility is not much of a priority, there is no feeling that they are making music for anyone other than themselves and as a result they go wherever they please and make a brutal but intelligent racket in the process.

Sonically they fall somewhere between Knut and various grind / noisecore bands, although there are some (relatively) straight up and memorable riffs  to be found in the likes of ‘At the hands of them.’ and ‘It will all make sense when we’re dead’, which makes a good contrast and holds your attention without becoming monotonous.  There is some interesting times signatures and clever flips in rhythm in the middle of “It will all make sense when we’re dead” and genuinely sinister chord progressions in “Snake state nausea” add variety and make for a listen that seems more progressive and intriguing on each listen.

At the time of writing there are still new elements coming to light which highlight how much thought has been put into the record.  The playing is impeccable, well planned and clearly they are all masters of their respective instruments.

The vocals are never anything less than all out fury and desperation. Serving almost as the proverbial nails down the board in the background, it’s as if they are there purely to be unpleasant for the sake of it (which by the way is meant as a compliment).  The riffs and aforementioned dynamics and technical changes carry the overall sound and for me are what form the songs, rather than relying on standard structure / verse / chorus.

If you’re looking for pure nihilism and fury and an example of a band pushing themselves to the extreme, with no regard for others opinion and with the intention of making a hideous racket, then look no further. At 20 minutes long it’s a little brief, but needs to be no longer. This is a crushing work of utter despondency which I can’t recommend enough.

Reference points; - Knut, Ken Mode, Eyehategod


Words by: Chris Wilson

You can pick up a copy here