Burst - _Lazarus Bird_
(Relapse, 2008)
by: Kostas Sarampalis (10 out of 10)
Burst's previous release _Origo_ was an intensely interesting piece of work. Based on hardcore, but at the same time feeling its way into multiple different territories, it stands as an all time personal favorite. Amazingly, the Swedes did not trip on themselves in their new album _Lazarus Bird_. Due to the complexity of their vision, it could have easily gone either way, but by concentrating on carefully expanding on their already impressive skill set and soundscapes, they surpassed my expectations and produced an outstanding collection of songs.

During the first attempt, most listeners will probably feel a little lost and confused as to what is going on. This is understandable. There is so much packed into the eight songs that make up _Lazarus Bird_ that it requires a lot more patience than _Origo_. And things are not off to an easy start: opener "I Hold Vertigo" is all over the place. Crunchy, heavy and ever changing in its seven minutes of start and stop, you never know when it is over. "I Exterminate the I" is less consuming, yet with abundant complexities and some amazing guitar work. Interestingly, this album has many more calm moments than its predecessor, yet they fit in perfectly in the scheme of things. Take "We Are Dust" for example: it spends its first three minutes building an aura of tranquility until it just bursts and crashes into the most unbelievably addictive and headbang-inducing riff you have heard in a while.

There is no point in a song to song analysis, since each one of them is a gem. But perhaps extra mention should be given to "Cripple God" for being so very, well, touching, for lack of a better word. The double change of pace into acoustic guitars and clean vocals, with the drumwork building up on the background, is outstanding.

On the technical side, the guys have clearly improved even further with their respective instruments. The multiple vocal styles remain, constantly changing from harsh to clean singing, shouting, and the experimentation expands everywhere else. Where _Origo_ was perhaps a bit overtly ambitious, _Lazarus Bird_ sounds like the baby of a band that has matured and feels very comfortable with their art.

I would say that _Lazarus Bird_ is more of an experience rather than a mere album. At some point things start coming together for the listener. The hardcore, the metal, the jazz overtones with the saxophone. We are not talking about a simple combination of Neurosis, Cult of Luna and the rest of the big names in the scene, since the name calling is very unfair. Burst are not just original. They are unique. And _Lazarus Bird_ proves this with shining clarity.

Contact: http://www.burst.nu/

(article published 1/31/2009)


ALBUMS
10/20/2003 J Smit 8 Burst - Prey on Life
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