"The Burden of Sorrow"

By Thrash-head

This is what a perfect EP should be. It comes in with an intense right jab, followed by a devastating left hook, and finished off with an uppercut that knocks you flat on your ass! Twelve minutes of pure, balls-out death metal fury that is a side project oF one Tim Lambesis, also frontman for As I Lay Dying and Austrian Death Machine (also currently in a bit of hot water for a "disagreement" with the ex---Naughty Mality).

Because of the pedigree in this band, one could be forgiven for thinking this might be a straight-up deathcore album so that Lambesis could growl and grunt to his heart's content without taking himself too far out of his metalcore comfort zone. Truthfully though, the riffs from guitarists Andrew Godwin (ex-The Famine) and Ryan Glisan (Allegaeon) are able to find a perfect middle ground between Hour of Penance and Suffocation at its most intense. Probably an even better point of reference would be the more recent offerings of deathcore darlings Job For A Cowboy, now sans the -core. And when the riffing backs off just for a second, we find slithery guitar lines that the 8-string instruments that they  lend themselves so well to, and the occasional breakdown just to chop things up a bit, but never in too hardcore of a fashion. Flat-out, for all guitarists out there that were wondering what an 8-string guitar would sound like in the context of something extreme and decidedly un-djent, this is a great listen. Some extremely capable and tight (yet not flashy) backing from the session-musician rhythm section of Josh Gilbert (also of AILD and ADM) and The Breathing Process' John Paul Andrade provides a powerful and better-than-adequate backbone for these three songs to be built upon. As for Tim's vocals, they get better with age. It's just plain obvious this isn't the same skinny hardcore kid we all think of him as from ten years ago. His voice is burly, gutteral, and angry, the embodiment of testosterone in death metal and perfectly befitting of this music and the sonically pristine mixjob.

Short, sweet, to the point. Such an amazing 3-song EP like this doesn't come around very often...probably not with this much of a brutal impact since the "Breeding Death" EP from Bloodbath. I would gladly place this 3-songer on that same shelf. If this truly is a sign of amazing things to come, then shut up and take my money right now and consider me the first presale for the full-length (which might be out in 10 to 20---Mality again).