Combine early Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden instrumentals and lyrics with alternative-metal vocals and melodies, and you have Neüstonia by Burn River Burn. You could almost craft a The Wall-like horror movie around the mood this album impressively cultivates. Imagine you’re in the movie Scream being stalked by intense rock instrumentals, your inner monologue informed by melodic vocals. If you can’t imagine what it’s like to be chased through a metal album, the adrenaline-fueled songs on Neüstonia will definitely get you there without issue.
“Thanks For the Ride” is a powerful opening track that would fit right into the opening sequence of a late-80’s or early-90’s slasher movie. I like to mention whether or not the first track on an album is a good representation of what the release has to offer. With “Thanks for the Ride”, I could tell I was in for an experience.
“U Dig” has a little bit more of an old-school punk feel, with quick drum patterns and a lot of downstrokes on the guitar. I really appreciate the technical guitar work between the verses in lieu of a standard chorus.
“Sworn to Silence” has a catchy instrumental introduction that continues to remind me of a horror movie. It’s a slower song that makes a determined follow up to “U Dig”. The chorus has an almost cult-like feel. “Tell me all your fears, they will fall on deaf ears”, along with the rest of the chorus definitely gives the vibe of someone being brainwashed. The chorus after the bridge has a distinct early-Sabbath feel with daunting moments of silence that are sporadically filled by hard guitar riffs and lyrics.
With up and down moments that take you through a rollercoaster of a song, the instrumental on “Waiting” is a welcomed addition to the album. The use of offbeat drums in the verses gives the song a chaotic yet calm feel before they kick up the energy.
The ideal way to amp the energy up and down at will, the use of rests in the verses on “Burning Bridges” is more than a success. This song has the life of a fire. There are times where it’s calm and you can feel its kinetic -potential, then the song explodes into full flame with neck-breaking guitars, a massive drum line, and a deep, soul-penetrating bassline. The song calms down again with a cool and technical bassline, right before blazing up one more time like someone’s thrown a gallon of whiskey on a garbage fire.
Ok, “Into the Vein” is last Ozzy comparison (though I personally love it when my band is compared to the bands I more or less intended to sound like). One of my favorite Black Sabbath songs is called “The Wizard”. A massive part of that is because of the unexpected use of harmonica in a metal song. The heavy instrumental and explosive harmonica on “Into the Vein” give me that same feeling. For these reasons I have dubbed this song my “Guitar Hero Pick Of The Album”.
The title track “Neüstonia” continues the album’s tradition of a horror movie-like atmosphere. At this point, I would say “Neüstonia” is the moment that you think the serial killer is dead, so you try to get a better look because you feel a small sense of safety. But as we all know, that is never the end of the movie. That’s when the killer pops back up for one more startling moment. This is my first pick for favorite song on the album. It has a life all it’s own that stands out against the other songs while remaining true to the albums intended feel.
Last but not least, “The Rift” is like the setup for a sequel. It’s the part in the film that makes the audience say, “oh, shit, that was such an awesome ending!” In most movies, the end can make or break the entire thing. I loved the whole album, but “The Rift” is what’s going to make me want to listen to it again. As well, it contributes to my anticipation of their future releases. There are long instrumental moments that give the song a sense of structure, especially toward the end of the song. And as the final notes and lyrics ring out (and the credits start to begin), there is an overwhelming closure that ties the album together.
Well, I hope you aren’t tired of hearing me say how much I love all of these albums because Burn River Burn’s Neüstonia has got my name written all over it. The band’s alternative metal rock style flows well with their dark, pungent lyrics, and had my attention throughout the entire eleven-track album. I am very much looking forward to following this band’s career as they continue to release hard-hitting music.
Neüstonia by Burn River Burn is available everywhere via Pavement Entertainment. Take a look below for links to the band’s official website and facebook page.
Burn River Burn is:
Chuck Howell – Guitar
John Paterson – Vocals
Kevin Amann – Drums
Mike Plunkett – Guitar
Marco Guzman – Bass