Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Burning Bridges. - 60%

Perplexed_Sjel, May 19th, 2009

Four years after the bland, dull and flavourless ‘Klassica’, the Polish evolutionary act are back to some form of business with this new piece. Esqarial have gone through some more alterations on this new piece which warrants the description of being evolutionary. ‘Burned Ground Strategy’ is most notable for crossing of genres and sub-genres, though not entirely convincing or explicit. Since the band have changed record labels, they’ve decided against igniting their reputation with the style that led ‘Klassica’ into an early grave. This time round, Poland’s Esqarial have opted for a style than has more in common with Bolt Thrower (due to the war machine like feel to the driving guitars - though the comparisons are limited, just more potent than the comparisons to the unfortunate ’Klassica’) than their old characteristics that made the first three records worthwhile. The technical side of the description isn’t as warranted as it once was, though the band certainly deserve to be called innovative. However, sometimes, innovation can work against you and in the end, cost you your success. Many bands are often disparaged for being far too experimental and showboating doesn’t always come across well when it boarders on arrogance and pretension.

Esqarial have struggled here to find the balance between successfully crossing genres over and maintaining subtle elements of their past. Although ‘Burned Ground Strategy’ is more effective as a death metal record than the lacklustre ‘Klassica’ was, it doesn’t highlight the bands early potential anymore and instead, it burns it to the ground. This hate-filled piece is full of aggression and unfulfilled testosterone, but it does have a tendency to boarder other emotional fields, though not extensively, which was disappointing. Unfortunately, there are still some issues with the creative paths that Esqarial have adapted to. One thing is for sure, Esqarial simply cannot afford to broaden the horizons of the genres they operate within because they’re incapable of doing so intelligently and with consummate ease, unlike in the early days where the progressive and technical elements complimented each other as well as black and white clothes do. Instead of sounding like the tempting and technical band that they once were, Esqarial have taken on a ‘core’ sounding style, which is disappointing as their tempestuous and abrasive soundscapes unfold unsuccessfully. A lot of the material reminds me of the melodic death and metalcore hybrid that so many people have openly expressed their disgust and disgruntled views on.

Songs like ‘Mors Tua Vita Mea’ converge around a sound that is unlovable from beginning to end. Problems from the previous effort still exist here, though it different mannerisms. The vocals, for example, are annoying, tedious and have a tendency to be overblown. They aren’t as ridiculous in comparison to the style on ‘Klassica’, but they’re not welcomed - though the clean vocals are actually much improved on this record. The band have a horrible obsession with ordinary metalcore sounding riffs. These don’t offer the same levels of satisfaction as they might once have and the chaotic constructions sound misplaced. The drums are a good example of this because they’re at he forefront of the atmospheres, but lack a powerful punch and generally come across as being sub-par. Some of the technicalities do still exist, of course, but this band have evolved into a much more dynamic force of late, though this isn’t always positive. Like on ‘Klassica’, this record seems to believe that knocking out the odd, and ill composed solo will do justice to the rest of the material, which is often poor to begin with.

The odd conception of the songs is confusing, like it was on ‘Klassica’, but not exactly in the same fashion as it is here. At least the material here is generally more dynamic in a positive way, like songs such as ‘Operation Totentanz’ suggest, with its creative spark and inventive juices beginning to ebb and flow in a constructive manner, and not as wildly as other songs have been in their attempt to portray the innovation. The guitars (though some of the coma inducing material could do with being re-worked) and dual vocals (though the clean vocals are much better than the drivel that the harsh grunts provide) are the highlights of a largely disappointing record. Listening to this piece is like cheating on your incredibly beautiful girlfriend, who is perfect for you, with an insecure old lady who means nothing to you and who has been around too many blocks in her time. ‘Burned Ground Strategy’ isn’t rewarding enough to deserve being played on multiple occasions throughout my lifetime, let alone a smaller space of time. The first three records are where this band begins and ends, for me.