Having already conquered their home town of Dublin and the rest of Ireland itself, iBurn are turning their sights on the UK with the release of their self-titled mini album. The quintet walk the nu-metal route breathing life back into an arguably tired, if not sleeping genre, bringing a new power, energy and ideas that are lacking from so many of today’s bands. ‘iBurn’ contains 8 tracks of aggression with kick to the head metal blended with melodies and hooks that tease and entice before also taking a bite.
The album bursts through the speakers with opening track ‘Have Myself Again’, guitars scrambling into action for an all out assault around growling gruff vocals. The track immediately shows one of the key weapons the band has for their sound, the voice of Matt Sheedy. He fluidly swings from scowling hard vocals into melodic and smooth delivery, switching easily and fitting the music perfectly, especially as the sound style follows the same attack. The song hits hard and low with metal swipes coming from the early Machine Head era and fusing it with the more melodic tones of maybe Drowning Pool or Adema. ‘The Ripple Effect’ carries on this surge with the bullish power of Five Finger Death Punch being caressed by a touch of Deftones as the track flows wonderfully and again Sheedy’s vocals stand out and compliment.
Nu-metal gets a rough press these days and deservedly so, especially as so often the loss of the power and bite it originally had has gone missing, so it is refreshing to hear iBurn bring that back with their sound. The guitars of Dave Fogerty and Mark Norris lay it thick and heavy as well as scything through the noise with some inspired hooks and melodies whilst the pounding bass beats from Niall O’Shaugnessey and Marek Matkiewicz’s drumming could bring down walls with its onslaught.
The best track on the album ‘Rotting My Strength (I can’t let myself go)‘ epitomises their sound perfectly coming over with an early Korn feel fused with metal/rap via (Hed) P.E. As you can see, it is very easy and valid to say that iBurn’s music here sounds like that band or that moment. However, here it is a positive not a negative as they manipulate the flavours into something unique, which is not only music that is very enjoyable to listen to but also something that leaves the need to hear much more.
Tracks like ‘Family Tradition’ and ‘Loser’ simply slide into place continuing the pace and quality for that is what ‘iBurn’ is, pure quality. If you have an aversion to nu-metal then I guess it may not be the one for you, but with some great ideas employed, energy and style switches and simply for the musicianship I suggest give it a try. If you are already converted by the likes of Korn, Drowning Pool or even a Spineshank you will drool over this.