Holy shit. All I’ve ever wanted out of my out-of-date, wishing-things-were-like-the-old-days musical addiction lately is a hybrid of His Hero Is Gone and German Terror-core legends Systral and AcMe. Well, thanks to CVLT Nation, I was provided with that very thing in the form of the United Kingdom’s Art Of Burning Water new album Living Is For Giving, Dying Is For Getting. The way things go for us reviewers here on CVLT is that the almighty Sean sends us some stuff, we listen to it and respond back if we’re into reviewing it. Upon my initial spin of this fucking dense ode to how shit should be done, I was absolutely, surprisingly floored by this (to me) unknown band. It immediately forced me to log into WordPress and start typing away as this album punched holes through my speakers and soul. It’s been awhile since I’ve fallen so immediately head over heels for a band. With this one, I was in love the moment they closed out the first song and will faithfully carry on with this affair for the rest of my life.
First off, who the fuck are these guys and where the fuck did they get the balls to create something so fucking good and not be noticed by the rest of the world? Seriously, this album managed to sneak its way into my heart upon my first listen as perhaps the best independent dark-horse release of last year, even though it’s now 2015. So now, I have pull a Marty Mcfly and hop into a Delorean time machine in order to revise my “Best of” list for last year, which says something about my enthusiasm for Living Is For Giving, Dying Is For Getting. This is a staggering, complex piece of hardcore-metal, which combines a number of different avenues that merge together to form this release. While they stand on the shoulders of giants in a certain way, Art of Burning Water by no means steal or rip anything off from previous acts. In fact, they seem to have taken lessons and warped it to their own methodical, abrasive approach.
“No Day Is Tragedy Free” opens up the album, starting off with audio sample of Malcom X debating at Oxford University where he says, “And I, for one, will join in with anyone—I don’t care what color you are—as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this earth.” An aptly used quotation that is fittingly placed and leaves no room for assumptions as to what they might sound like. The song itself serves as a sort of warm up for the album, sliding into the next piece, entitled “You Get What You’re Given,” which really sets the bar in terms of raw heaviness on this album. From the moment Art of Burning Water breaks out of the gate, they aim straight for the head in terms of their delivery. An alchemist’s mixture of insanely crushing moments that compress straight into your spine mixed with the ferocity of a rabid animal. I seriously tried to count the number of times that this band threw down the gauntlet, but by the time track six, “Snake State Nation,” rumbles its way across you, I had given up. “At The Hands Of Them” and “Great British Hope Destroyer” have some of the heaviest moments I’ve heard in a while, and that is the absolute damn truth. Infused within this vicious-sounding blend of styles is an emotional sincerity that is often missing these days. This isn’t about who can play insane sweeping arpeggios or look the most grim in corpse paint. This is a band that truly delivers music from their collective core. It’s bands like this which make underground music so truly dangerous, because you can feel the pulse under the skin of the music, which is something not every project out there is capable of.
Before I draw the inevitable band comparisons on this one, let me get one thing clear: this band treads a lot of different ground, but it’s all under the same sky, with a strong leaning towards the previously-mentioned His Hero Is Gone, but they could also be compared to a little more finely tuned and sped up Ire. Don’t get the expectation though that this band just follows in their footprints or is just a carbon copy of those sounds. They’ve crafted an awesome sound together and it shows that they’ve been at the drawing board for a while with this album. Everything fits into place on this one; even the more noisy, chaotic moments are placed to enrich and truly amplify the parts were they start to get really aggressive. Art of Burning Water have the entire heavy ass shit, melodic crust riff thing mastered and there really isn’t a song on this release that in any way lets down. Each track on here is it’s own organ of rage and umbrage. For every song, there are multiple moments of stunning heaviness and an emotional weight that had me raising my eyebrows throughout it. Even more so, since it seems that this band is still under the radar, which blows my mind. You should all be checking Art of Burning Water out immediately, giving them your unconditional support, while also shoving this album down your friends’ throats. So get to it.
Art of Burning Water’s upcoming gigs:
30/03/15 – London @ The Unicorn
w/ Primitive Man, Sea Bastard, Torpor
31/03/15 – Brighton @ Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
w/ Ancst, Children Of God, DKH
09/04/15 – Bournemouth @ The Anvil
w/ Cheel Ghar, Black Swarm, Rat The Magnificent
10/04/15 – Bristol @ Cube Cinema
w/ Sonance, Anta, Human Future
11/04/15 – Norwich @ The Blueberry
w/ Jotnarr, Three Thrones, A Horse Called War
01/05/15 – Cardiff @ Red Sun Fest
w/ Atomck, The Death Of Her Money & more
16/05/15 – Bristol @ Big Riff Fest
w/ Blacklisters, Henry Blacker, Knifeman, Beggar & more
30/05/15 – London @ The Unicorn
w/ Magrudergrind, The Afternoon Gentlemen, Dysteria
06/06/15 – Sheffield @ The Audacious Art Experiment
w/ Waking Aida, Pocket Apocalypse & more
And then around the UK with Baxter Stockman 16-21 June.