Earth Burnt Black
Harrowing Catharsis
Style: Prog Sludge
Release date: 29 October, 2011
Playing time: 54:00

This 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 comes in.

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 Hunt!).

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!

01. Intro
The March
Freedom of the Wretched
The Hunt
Lead or Cyanide
Vengeance and Fire
Label: None
Distribution: None
Artwork rating: 65/100
Reviewed by: Thomas Nielsen
Date: 15 April, 2012