The Browning - 'Burn This World' (Earache) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by David Whistance   
Wednesday, 31 August 2011 05:00

The_BrowningPersonally I believe you can never quite judge an album after it's initial hearing, and to prove my theory correct you don't have to look any further than the new album by recent Earache signings, Texas four piece The Browning. I have to be completely honest here and confess to hating what I was hearing on my first listen of 'Burn This World', but thankfully I have that unwritten rule to prove me wrong.


When I initially heard the track 'Bloodlust' with it's thumping dance beats more akin to an Ibizia hot spot than a metal album, I began to have ghastly visions of purchasing a ghastly coloured Renault Clio, fitting it with a sound system far too big for its miniscule frame, kitting myself out in a stained white tracksuit with matching 90 degree angled baseball cap and then parking said Clio outside a local shopping precinct all night attempting to impress prepubescent teenagers drinking white cider by the cap full.


I couldn't possibly listen to something with such a moronic dance beat could I?


That's not to say I'm not entirely against electronic/dance music I've always been partial to a bit of Prodigy and I'm a fan of indie/ dance cross over band Pop Will Eat Itself, yet they both possess a much harder edge to that electronic side.


When I revisited 'Burn This World', I began to have a change of heart and when the songs work they are quite frankly "really great", such as on the album's title track and the hypnotic 'Time Will Tell'.  It's just every so often the dance side does become a little overbearing for me and it begins to sound like that middle distant thudding you hear when passing your local council estate.  Which is why I was shocked to discover these four lads are actually from Texas as the music has a far more European flavour to it.  I was equally as equally shocked to discover the band comprises of a guitarist, bassist and drummer as I feel the electronic side may be overpowering the rest of the musicianship on offer.


The surprises don't stop there either folks as I haven't mentioned Jonny McBee's death metal vocal style yet, and you really have to commend the band for following a different path to so many others out there and tracks such as 'Dominator' and 'The Sadist' prove this unusual blend death/electronica can work brilliantly. After a while though even the vocal style was getting far too familiar throughout the album and I personally would have liked to hear a different variation at times.


My biggest concern for the Browning whist listening to 'Burn This World' is whether fans of the death metal/extreme metal genres may find the dance element to the music a bit too much to grasp and likewise fans of the more dance oriented rock music may find the death metal vocals a bit hard to swallow. However with many rock magazines and festivals embracing a dance/rock crossover and with bands such as Pendulum and Enter Shikari filling arenas across the country, I may be being too quick to judge this band's potential audience as the metal and rock crowd have always been very open minded to "different" acts in the past.


'Burn This World' is definitely an album I grew to like and hopefully if you give it a listen you may feel the same.  There is one thing though that I always felt throughout the listening process and that is, I bet The Browning are an absolute storm on the live front.