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Very Well-Executed Blackened Thrash - 80%

Shadoeking, May 23rd, 2009

Burn to Black is a Canadian blackened thrash metal band. Listening to them, it is clear that Hellhammer/Celtic Frost were a major influence on the band. They possess the same sickened low end-heavy guitar tone. The bonus track at the end of some versions of this album is even a Celtic Frost song.

The band is most notable for the presence of bassist Sam Dunn. Dunn is the creator of the metal documentaries A Headbanger's Journey and Global Metal.

As previously mentioned, the band uses a riffing style similar to Celtic Frost on many of their songs. The tone is the same, but Burn to Black plays significantly faster on average than Celtic Frost ever did. The riffs are meaty and have a very dark tone. There are played by the rhythm guitarist in conjunction with the bassist. Occasional melodic leads play over the top of the bottom-heavy riffs. Other influences are culled from Canadian death/thrash metal acts such as Sacrifice and Slaughter. A lot of the speed elements come from those acts.

There are guitar solos present giving songs a little more of a melodic touch. The guitar solos are played with more of a clean tone, helping to further emphasize the dirtiness of the underlying riffs.

The drumming is precise and pummelling. The drums act as timekeeper and the force driving the speed and intensity of the individual tracks.

The vocals are mostly made up of a sickening rasp. They are often shrieked in typical black metal style and that is where most of the black metal influences lie. The music for the most part is derived from early thrash acts like the aforementioned Canadian bands and Celtic Frost as well as other more extreme thrash metal acts such as Sodom and Destruction.

All in all, this is a pretty decent album by a little known or underrated band. A lot of metalheads know about the band because of Dunn's presence, but those that did not care for the documentaries, in particular the first one, have stayed away from the band. This is a mistake. This band possesses enough quality metal influences that shine through to make this a very well-done and entertaining effort. It will be interesting to see how they develop.