Burning Inside - _The Eve of the Entities_
(Still Dead, 1999)
by: Aaron McKay (
This CD was generously provided to me by my good friend and colleague, Paul Schwarz. Having read Paul's interview with Steve Childers [CoC #48], I was anxious to take a listen to Burning Inside's _The Eve of the Entities_ for myself. Consequently, when Mr. Schwarz offered the review of this album to me, I was naturally very open to the idea. As you might ascertain from my rating, this release caused more than a little grief for me. I fought as hard as I know how to burrow myself within Burning Inside's bombastic fortress of technical speed/death metal. I had very little success, obviously. I could appropriately term Burning Inside a "copper glided gem". What I mean by that is, in essence, Burning Inside is a precious stone of members like Richard Christy (Death / Control Denied / Iced Earth), Steve Childers (Black Witchery) and Mike Estes (Acheron). All of these people and their other work I enjoy immensely. The group's obvious mastery of their instruments were seemingly covered over with a less than valuable coating to diminish their luster. What happened? Too musically technical? Yes, possibly that's it, and -not- like the technical metal I relish in some At the Gates or A Canorous Quintet pieces. I am thinking more along the lines of questioning where the band's "hook" is. What is to draw the listener into Burning Inside's offering here on _The Eve of the Entities_? Where does the band separate itself from the herd of other groups playing the very same kind of material? Richard Christy's drumming is a good retaliation to my questions and this point qualifying _TEotE_'s for most of the points furnished to them in my rating. (I think that any of Gene Hoglan's work with his vast catalog of bands would be more of a favorite of mine, however.) I was hoping that the combined efforts of some of the talented musicians in BI mentioned above could influence this release favorably, but it didn't, in my opinion. Some time ago, I was exposed to BI on the Full Moon compilation _Tribute to Hell: Satanic Rites_ [CoC #42] and even some covers since then like on the King Diamond and Mercyful Fate tributes. Unfortunately, these turned out to be mostly forgettable covers and, worse yet, BI's own material, while loosely appealing, isn't too much better. Broadly speaking, the artwork on _The Eve of the Entities_ is professional and very metal in appearance. Eleven tracks of indisputable sounding musical apocalypse, with an impressively stacked CD inlay complete with lyrics. All nicely done right down to the outro, "Everlasting Sleep". (More atmospheric soundscapes like that track worked into the rest of this offering would be a very welcome addition.) Before closing, there are a couple of things that I would like to mention. First off, Jamie Prim's sandpaper-dry vocal approach in some way escapes my ability to define it, but it ultimately fails to "fit" BI absolutely, in my view. As I pointed out, I can't tell you why the vocals by Mr. Prim seem "off-center", and they are not annoying by any means; just simply ill-suited. Kind of like forcing a dodecagon into a round hole; it would probably work, but why would you? Or, better yet, like having Chuck Billy from Testament around the _Demonic_ era pick up the vocal duties for Daniel Corchado or Craig Pillard in Incantation; Mr. Billy could sure pull it off, but it isn't a solid match, I wouldn't think. My second and final point I wanted to make is: I spent a good portion of my life living in the midst of the Florida scene, which is where BI hails from. It goes against everything I want to believe that Burning Inside isn't as good as I would hope they could be, but I cannot in all good conscience laud this band for the reasons mentioned above. I suppose there is always next time...
(article published 10/25/2000)
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