Enter Shikari are one of those bands that split opinions to very strong extremes either garnering adoration or vehement negativity, their striking rock sounds laid in bed with electro rave wantonness. Now why are we mentioning Enter Shikari? Well, basically because Dallas based The Browning take the type of sound they frequent as a base and takes it further and harder into the metal sphere whilst driving it with an intensity that the UK band can only dream of.
“Burn This World”, via Earache Records, is the new album from The Browning and is destined to split opinions as distinctly as the aforementioned band does. Their multi genre fusion around a mix of crushing intrusive metal and mind stretching EBM, electronic and dance sounds is inventive, adventurous, and some may say brave, but when it sounds this good bravery is not involved, just a confident knowledge of a sound that is simply unique creativity at its height. First listen of just a couple of tracks will determine for most if this is to be a love affair or a spiteful hatred for the band, for those that get it their sound is manna from above.
Fusion of dance based electronic sounds and rock is not new, the likes of The Prodigy, Pendulum, Pop Will Eat Itself, and of course Enter Shikari have successfully created the union giving it credibility and a solid respect and an edge that is hard to dislike but The Browning have instinctively brought much more into the mix to bring to life a beast that is shatteringly impressive. A quote from vocalist Jonny McBee stated “With our new album “Burn This World”, we wanted to push our electronics and metal to a level that hasn’t been done before.” Let us confirm their success and also report that the band has pushed the fusion to a level no one has reached before.
The quartet of McBee (vocals/electronics), Brian Cravey (guitar), Noah Robertson (drums), and Jesse Glidewell (bass) bring an expansive sound that belies the fact there is just the four of them, how they transfer the immense sound on “Burn This World” to a live setting is intriguing but one would never doubt that they can and impressively too.
From the beckoning opening strains of first track ‘No Escape’ the band entices, flutters its electronic eyelids, and pouts provocatively with its synth sounds before breaking out a full on assault of battering aggression. Though full length, the track feels like an intro to the wares ahead, leading directly into the pulse quickening, senses pummelling might of ‘Not Alone’. The synths swirl and caress whilst the riffs and rhythms brutally attack, leaving indecision as whether to mosh or break out the glow sticks. The fierce death metal growling of McBee is in deep contrast to his keyboard creations and again how he can combine both on stage is a question that comes to mind. Linking his two varied insurgencies are the striking incisive sounds and decimating riffs from Cravey and Glidewell, whilst drummer Robertson is an unrelenting titan of rhythms, battering the senses into submission constantly.
There is not one low point or even a drop in quality on the album just moments that hit the heart deeper than others like ‘Standing On The Edge’ a song will be the obvious entry point to the band for most, ‘Burn This World’ bursting in on a distinct Billy Talent opening riff before laying down some quite stunning orchestral synth sounds and emotive tones, plus the cinematic feel of ‘Living Dead’ powered by more aggression than should allowed to be unleashed at once on the senses. There are so many moments though that makes this album essential to anyone with an ounce of harsh and melodic diversity in their tastes.
“Burn This World” is a masterpiece, simple as, and already a leading contender for album of the year though probably there will be many people that will consign it to the disposal bin too, it is that kind of sound, it will split views to the extreme, love or hate. The recommendation here though is go find out for yourselves upon its release; it is the best example of creativity within metal so far this year.