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Deathcore Upon A Burning Body Red. White. Green.
CD, Released date : 26 March 2012 - Sumerian Records
Produced by : Will Putney
Style: Deathcore

RATING : 16/20
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Tracklist
1. Game Over 01:38
2. Sin City 03:04
3. Once Upon a Time in Mexico 02:57
4. Texas Blood Money 03:13
5. El Mariachi (Instrumental) 02:27
6. Desperado 03:09
7. Mimic (ft. Chris Fronzak of Attila) 03:20
8. Predators (ft. Johnny Plague of Winds Of Plague) 04:35
9. From Dusk Till Dawn (ft. Nate Johnson of Fit For An Autopsy) 02:32
10. Planet Terror 03:24
11. The Island of Lost Dreams 03:47
Total playing time 34:06

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24 ratings 3 16/20
Review
16 / 20
    VesselsOfBlood, Friday 27 July 2012 Talk to your friends  
Death from the West

Upon a Burning Body is a band that really makes its shout-outs to their home country. Forming in 2005 from San Antonio, Texas, this rowdy quintet holds a high honor to not only their hometown and their Mexican heritage. It also speaks much of the gangster and crime drama films of the southwest, as heard in their previous record “The World Is Ours” from 2009. Such songs include “Carlito’s Way” and “Donnie Brasco.” However, all of this should be the least of anyone’s reasons to truly admire this band and their works. They play brutal yet technical deathcore that even jaded listeners might be able to get into. In “The World Is Ours,” the production was crisp, the musicianship was outstanding, and the deathcore sledging was very effective, even slipping in some melody into it, making the mix all the more intriguing. In short, Upon a Burning Body started off on a strong step forward. Now they’ve returned in 2012 to bang heads and crash beers, with their sophomore full-length entitled “Red. White. Green.” A fittingly crazed sequel to their debut effort, “Red. White. Green.” is a strong record that balances on the line between brutality and melody greatly.

Firstly, the musicianship still thrives throughout for this band in “Red. White. Green.” Danny Leal’s vocals always have had an incredible range, effortlessly expanding from low gutturals to mid-range and wicked high-pitch screams. In addition to that, there is a tad more clean singing in this record than the last, especially in the track “Texas Blood Money.” It does really add to the melodic elements that “Red. White. Green.” has to offer, and it only helps the band in the end. Speaking of melody, the guitar work is also leaning more to that aspect. Ranging from deadly chugs to even heartfelt and melodic riffs, they also serve as a wonderful highlight for this album. The drums are also still as versatile as they were in “The World Is Ours,” and they’re quite technical and rapid, but solid enough to not sound like a jumble of random drum solos. Overall, the musicianship is just outstanding. However, the production of this record does sort of get in the way of letting the guitar work really shine, because at times, especially in some melodic parts, the guitars do sound a little too quiet, faded, and blended. Luckily this isn’t the case for the guitar solos, and while this is clearly a drawback for this record, it doesn’t stop “Red. White. Green.” from being an at least decent record.

One of the most remarkable traits of Upon a Burning Body’s music is its ability to deliver some brutal deathcore punches that almost never lose steam. This is well-presented in this album, one of the most prime examples being the second song “Sin City,” which ravages the listener’s eardrums throughout the track with bludgeoning breakdowns and rapid-fire metal blasts. It’s a little complex, but for the most part, it’s an incredibly rowdy track that especially pit moshers will take pleasure in greatly. Another track with such versatile abrasiveness is “Predator,” which features Johnny Plague from famed symphonic deathcore act Winds Of Plague. The guitar work is really at work in this track, and the music alone just slams your head against the table multiple times. The only exception from this song’s unrelenting attack is the very end, where it fades into a brief acoustic guitar plucking, but the melodies the guitars induce in “Predator” allow that small segment to fit the end of the track. “From Dusk till Dawn,” featuring Nate Johnson of deathcore band Fit For An Autopsy, also delivers an unbelievably heavier feel to the previously mentioned songs. Brutal deathcore slams flourish in this track, and the western-rock influenced guitar shreds and solos really build up the burning tension of this song. Those who looked forward to see the deathcore craziness as they did in “The World Is Ours” will surely enjoy all of this.

The melodies that made some appearances in the previous album have been highly enhanced in “Red. White. Green.” They really help the record in its versatility, and it envelopes the deathcore onslaughts seamlessly. Also, as stated earlier, there is more clean singing that accompanies these instrumental melodies than there was in “The World Is Ours,” and it really makes this record all the more effective. The track that best demonstrates this is the track “Texas Blood Money,” where it kicks off with an anthem in honor of the band’s home state, with the members chanting, “The stars at night are big and bright in the heart of Texas!” It then explodes in rowdy guitar melodies and gang vocals. It still pertains to the deathcore aspect that this band is so well known for, and it never loses flow with the rest of the album. “El Mariachi,” an interlude track, plays a southwestern acoustic guitar tune that really speaks for itself about the band’s homeland. Once again, this song also doesn’t stray from the rest of the tracks, because they usually bear that same southern edge to their tunes. Upon a Burning Body has progressed in their ability to insert melody in their songs without having to compromise their brutality.

Red. White. Green.” is a great record that old fans will dig and new fans will start to follow. Both rowdiness and melody thrive and coexist excellently in this album, making for quite a memorable piece. It does have a few minor flaws, including the sound production which could have turned out better, and some of the songs have silly lyrics, especially the song “Sin City.” Named after the famous crime drama film by director Robert Rodriguez, it does include weird lines that would probably only be good for stirring up some energy in the audience, such as “Life sucks, and then you die” and “Motherfucker, tell me, how do you bleed?” On the other hand, though, in songs such as “Texas Blood Money,” the group pays its respects to its home back in Texas, and it’s really cool how they do that. Luckily, even with these sorts of flaws, deathcore and hardcore fans will be too busy moshing and busting their own necks to even notice them. Once again, it could even appeal to jaded metal fans, with its solid melodic riffs and solos throughout. Overall, “Red. White. Green.” is a very strong record that truly is something to throw parties to.




2 Comments

Review
11 / 20
    Crinn, Saturday 11 August 2012 Talk to your friends  
Really nothing special at all here..

Upon a Burning Body is a fairly new deathcore band that is signed on to the extremely well-known Sumerian Records. For those of you that don’t know about Sumerian Records, they’re known for signing a fairly wide range of artists all the way from screamo to progressive metal to technical death which includes The Faceless, Veil of Maya, Born of Osiris, I See Stars, After the Burial, Asking Alexandria, and Periphery. One of the artists on their roster is one that is mainly only known amongst the deathcore crowd, Upon a Burning Body. I haven’t heard anything special about these guys from other critics, but since I’ve been surprised by Sumerian Records before, I decided that it wouldn’t hurt to give these guys a listen.

The general theme of this album is well…Latino, Mexican, and Texan pride. For some people, this is a relief since it’s basically a break from the typical hate/anger-oriented themes found in the deathcore genre that was pioneered by bands like All Shall Perish, Despised Icon, Lamb of God, and Heaven Shall Burn. So since the lyrics and general themes seem to be more up-beat, I guess the band is taking an approach similar to what Attila is known for.

But unlike a lot of people, lyrics and themes aren’t going to cut it for me. I couldn’t possibly care any less what the lyrics are about. Since the majority of deathcore bands seem to be doing (almost) the exact same thing, I’m looking for a band that could be appropriately be considered a black sheep. I’m looking for a band that either does something different/new or does what everyone else is doing, but better. One thing that I’ve noticed for sure, this isn’t a disaster in any way. And Upon a Burning Body has a better chance of succeeding because they’re creating music in a much underused territory (when speaking of DEATHCORE). What I’m talking about is combining the extremely energetic metalcore and hardcore punk elements and combining it with the generic deathcore sound. This kind of sound can be heard in Bring me the Horizon’s Suicide Season and Attila’s Outlawed (I’m positive that there’s more of it out there that I don’t know about). But this sound is most commonly found in the really heavy metalcore bands like Struc/tures and Architects.

This album has a shitload of energy, there’s no denying that. But I’m looking for a band that wants to do it better than its predecessors (or at least TRIES to). People have long-since figured out that the breakdowns are where the energy level reaches its pinnacle. It’s sort of obvious, whether someone likes them or not, it’s hard not to feel the explosive release of all the energy built up in the song. It’s when you start having breakdowns with little or no buildup at all where there’s a problem. I don’t give a fuck who did this first because I can’t stand either of these bands, but The Acacia Strain and Emmure saw that there was a lot of people that listened to deathcore in anticipation for the breakdowns; the breakdowns were where the fans would go absolutely nuts. So these bands decided to go with what was popular and said to themselves “If breakdowns are what the people are liking, then why don’t we just play breakdowns with occasional fillers?” Well, they did get the logic right because…well…look at how fucking famous both of those bands are! Emmure has had HUGE bands like Despised Icon, Winds of Plague, blessthefall, Born of Osiris, All Shall Perish, AND Iwrestledabearonce as OPENING acts! This sound, when combined with the more melodic sound of August Burns Red creates the modern (and unfortunately stereotypical) metalcore sound. But when you take that sound, take out the singing, and turn up the crunchiness and heaviness factor, you get a type of deathcore that’s still very new, but that’s growing at a horrifying rate.

Although it’s extremely catchy, the song structure is disappointingly simple and takes the fun out of anticipation. I even found myself ACCURATELY guessing the exact breakdown pattern before it even started! Even in the one song that actually grabbed my attention, Sin City. It starts out with this really cool soft guitar intro which then leads into the exact chugging breakdown pattern that I was expecting. One thing that I was surprised to hear was that in some parts there were some really moving parts that were created specifically to start a mosh pit. But all throughout the album, the band just makes it way too obvious when they’re about to play another breakdown. Fortunately, the band manages to maintain a high energy level for the duration of the album, so it’s not like the breakdowns are dull and without energy due to virtually no buildup. But it still takes the fun out of it for me and basically abuses and overuses the breakdown.

The bassist is the worst member of the band. He’s not tight with the drummer like he’s supposed to be, he’s not even tight with the guitars! There are some really tight breakdowns where he obviously practiced and managed to stay with the rest of the band. But it seems that he didn’t put much dedication and practice into EVERYTHING. Now this is JUST A GUESS, but I’m pretty sure that the producer of this album was also the producer for Struc/tures’ debut full-length because the guitar distortions sound IDENTICAL. They’re both EXTREMELY loud, very crunchy and have a really thick distortion; and the guitar distortions do nothing short of amplifying the energy level.

The drummer is where the true talent in this band lies. The kick drumming is fantastic; he likes to keep things interesting by switching back and forth between complex and simple fills. If your stereo has A LOT of bass or good subwoofers, his blast beats feel like a stampede of wildebeests pummeling you into the dirt. The vocalist uses a combination of deepish growls, screams, and really dirty yells (which could probably be easily considered really high growls). This album has grit, it has energy, and it has catch. But it still manages to leave the listener unsatisfied and empty. Basically, it’s all icing, but no cake. I would give this album 11/20 for having good qualities, one good song, good drumming, no bad qualities, but no satisfying traits what so ever.




2 Comments

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