BURST
"Origo"

(Relapse)

01. Where the Wave Broke
02. Sever
03. The Immateria
04. Slave Emotion
05. Flight's End
06. Homebound
07. It Comes into View
08. Stormwielder
09. Mercy Liberation

RATING: 8.5/10

So do you think these Swedes have been hyped enough or is another round of the-band-that-saved-the-world quotes necessary? Just kidding. BURST deserves the accolades. On "Origo", they've taken what can loosely be termed post-hardcore (or whatever the fuck is en vogue now) and made it into a vibrant mix of aggression, melody, and ambience.

"Origo" is a grower in the truest sense of the word. The more you listen, the more you understand, and the deeper into the psyche the songs sink. What makes "Origo" pre-eminently pleasing to both the heart and the head is the manner in which the guys bounce from outright frantic to marginally anxious. The unforgettable repeating riff and artsy groove of "Where the Wave Broke" is a splendid way to begin the proceedings. The track's relative safety is short lived though, ultimately overtaken by the exotic excursions that lay ahead. Though the compositions are quite heavy (in the purely metallic sense), lofty keys waft in and out of the arrangements, offering an array of accents, sometimes working as a respite from the intensity, but more often a haunting presence. Atmospheric tones and whispered words work magnificently on "Flight's End", complementing the rolling chords and walls of electric sound. The tune is breathtaking and offers what may be the album's most beautiful melody lines. It is also one of several tracks in which ethereal vocal harmonies provide a striking juxtaposition to Linus Jägerskog's full, throaty scream. Similar contrasting elements succeed smashingly on "Mercy Liberation" as well, this time the harmonizing sung in both upper and lower registers. Interestingly enough, I find the somber keyboards and gentle strumming of valium-fueled instrumental "It Comes Into View" to be as captivating as any track on the album. OPETH's heavy solemnity comes to mind here, the track offering a seven-minute reprieve from the shape shifting that precedes it.

Most importantly, the band's rich tapestry is not purposeless. Melody never appears as an afterthought and coexists (sometimes peacefully, sometimes not) with what is frequently a raging delivery. "Origo" is heavy in so many ways. The album's fervency can be overwhelming at times though. Right, it will make your brain hurt. A quick fix won't do, as this one takes time to fully absorb. The weaning could take weeks. Come prepared.

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