I’m not quite sure if this is an album or an EP, but this is the shit right here. In case you’ve never heard of this band before, well, here’s a news flash: right now iBurn is the most original and creative nu metal band out there. Seriously, while they may not have exactly hit the spot with their eponymous debut (iBurn, 2010), their sophomore effort is mind-fucking-blowing.
iBurn resides in the small town of Clonmel, Ireland (the one with Dublin being the capital, not the… other one), which doesn’t really help the band to get its well deserved recognition. It consists of five members, three of them were there from the start - Dave (guitar), Matt (vocals) and Chuck (guitar), and there are two new members: adorable Shelley (bass) and brutal Marek (drums). I’m not sure what kind of chemistry exists between these people, but the outcome is unbelievable - iBurn’s sound is exactly what this dying genre needs. It’s fresh, it’s new, it’s pure nu metal but without its dull repetitiveness.
The album (ok, maybe it’s an EP, but their previous release had only one more song and it was an album, so give me a break) starts with a kick in the nuts - the first few seconds of “Chase It” sound like a sonic blast. The songs sets the overall tone of the album. The trademark heaviness is still there, but there’s a new vibe to it - a lot of electronic/synth sounds that are creating a totally different sound. From now on iBurn isn’t just another heavy, groovy nu metal outfit, it’s a band with its own distinct sound that you won’t confuse with anything else. But it’s even more than that - not only does the band incorporate all the classic oldschool hooks in its music, it also shows a very good usage (and knowledge) of modern metal. The result is terrific. The title track (“Where It Begins”) simply gives me the goosebumps. Listen to 3:11-3:15 and if you don’t shiver hearing this - well, bad news, pal, you’re dead inside. This part kinda reminds me of what Brian “Head” Welch does on his solo album. To be honest, the vocals are great throughout the whole release - there are a lot of effects applied to them and it’s just what you need. Think again about all the basic patterns of nu metal - these guys just don’t give a fuck about them and, while staying true to their roots, change the rules of the game. “Get It Right” is a perfect song to get drunk to. It is heavy, aggressive and has great breakdowns smashing you with a wall of sound - just to give its way to a mockingly sounding chorus. Oh, and the song you definitely don’t wanna miss out is “Human Nature” - low, crunchy bass, industrial groove and guest vocals form El Butcho mixed in a song that definitely would’ve been a Billboard Top 100 hit in the early 00’s.
Overall this release fails to disappoint. And not only that - it also moves the whole genre forward. Finally there’s a band that creates something new and fresh instead of trying to cling to the past. In its early days nu metal was fresh, inventive and changed the way people perceived metal. And I can’t be more grateful to these guys for making it happen once again.