is an album that doesn't want to be classified in the usual marketing boxes we
tend to put music into. Earth Burnt Black from North Carolina belongs to the
generation of newer US bands that experiment with genres as they bloody well
please and leave reviewers throwing references around in desperation in an
attempt to nail the style.
When I write Prog Sludge in the Style field above it's just because we've
decided that there has to be something there that gives an indication of what
you can expect. It's not necessarily the whole and nothing but the truth. In
this case it certainly isn't. Sludge, yes, it's there, but there's also death
metal and doom rock and something which is not so much a genre, but more
something that sounds like Faith No More circa 'Angel Dust'. The vocals are
growls and screams, but also a clean vocal, and this is where the FNM element
What I like the most about this self-released effort is the daring. Earth Burnt
Black dare to challenge the known formulas for metal and throw everything into
the air to see what comes down in a good way. They also have an appropriate
amounts of heaviness and aggression, and where would we be without that?
I'm less enthusiastic about the production of the disc, but this could of course
be a matter of budget. What is worse is that not all songs crawl under the skin.
Composition-wise, three or four of the songs frankly bore me a bit (Vengeance &
Fire is an example). They don't burn their way into my soul like some of the
riffing and vocals in other songs of 'Harrowing Catharsis' (try The March or The
I'm convinced Earth Burnt Black should be an interesting band to follow in the
future. A bit more control composition-wise, a better budget and loads of
touring, then I think we have a wonder band on our hand!