West Virginian desert rock stalwarts Karma To Burn have returned with their brand new album “V”. It features the line up which reunited for the highly acclaimed comeback album “Appalachian Incantation” which appeared in 2010, some nine years after its predecessor.
Though they have used vocals on previous albums, this time they have included three songs with vocals and they have stuck to the formula of naming instrumental tracks by numbering them (47-51 appearing on this release). The first of these instrumentals ‘47’ opens the album and features a driving riff before a nice breakdown about two minutes in. ‘50’ starts off with some nice feedback and allows drummer Rob Oswald to show some off his skills towards the end of the song.
‘48’ builds from a calm intro into a song that could easily feature on a Foo Fighters or Queens Of The Stone Age album. It’s the type of music that could be played by another band and become very successful, heavy but not too heavy as to restrict its appeal outside of the genre. Lead video ‘The Cynic’ is the first track in the album to feature Year Long Disaster vocalist Daniel Davies (who also appeared on “Appalachian Incantation”). The vocals added to the classic desert / stoner rock sound and it already sounds very familiar after just a couple of spins. The accompanying video is definitely worth viewing.
‘49’ has the sound of the other instrumentals without veering too far from the blueprint set earlier in the album. This and the following song ‘51’, which is the last of the instrumentals to feature on the album, are the heaviest tracks on the album. ‘Jimmy Dean’ is the second song to feature vocals and is driven along by William Mecum’s riffs and the bass of Rich Mullins.
The album closes with a cover of Black Sabbath’s classic ‘Never Say Die’. This has already been featured on a Metal Hammer cover disc and was the song they were playing when there excellent Sonisphere set was cut short last year. It’s a pretty faithful cover and Davies does an excellent job on vocal duties, as he does on the other songs he appears on.
It’s always heartening when a band proves after a long break that a comeback was worthy, and even better when they follow that up with another good album. The eight tracks last a mere 37 minutes and the mixture of instrumental and tracks with vocals really works on this album. This is an album which should already be on your to buy list if you follow this style of music, but is definitely worth checking out, to see how it should be done.