Band: I, THE BURDEN
Genre: Post hardcore
Location: Darwin, NT
Date of Release: July 13, 2015
Reviewer: John W. Mason
For Fans Of: Dance Gavin Dance, Yesterdays Rising, Circa Survive
I had already listened to Reaktsyia from beginning to end twice before sitting down to write this review, a sure sign that you have a release on your hands which will stand the test of time. Post-hardcore can be a fickle beast and, while producing some of the most innovative bands to grace the scene, it has a tendency to churn out some of the most recyclable pleb-tier crapola at the same time. I, The Burden thankfully have produced a very considered and well-formed EP, a pleasant surprise in every form, from their locale in sleepy old Darwin to their soul-laden, post hardcore infused jams.
The opening track ‘Rations’ is deceiving – as mentioned in the interview, I had a worrying moment when it seemed like I, The Burden were to be placed firmly in the bin of mediocrity. While I feel it may ultimately serve as an unhelpful deterrent to prospective listeners, who might not have the patience to sit through the first track to see what the EP really has to offer, realistically I’m just nitpicking. The song is a little out of character for the EP as a whole, but still quite a solid track in its own right.
The second track ‘Strangers on the Sidewalk, Pt. II’ is where we really get down to business. This is where I, The Burden really show their talent for solid and progressive songwriting. Their timing and pace is on point, with every section playing into the next to form a cohesive bond. It’s clear that vocalist Dean Metcalfe draws influence from some of the greats of the genre, with bursts of Anthony Green and Brandon Bolmer of Yesterdays Rising appearing throughout the song, but it’s not until the next and title track ‘Reaktsyia’ that he really unleashes. The track showcases his expressed vocal lines, with the opening verse and lead-in to the first chorus displaying a keen sense of the role vocal melody plays into the genre, and the soaring chorus, backed by the driving double-kick and bass really nailing it down.
‘Half Past Empty’ ramps it up yet again. The most progressive on the EP, the marrying of the guitar, backing vocals and the main vocal lines together to produce some of the standout compositions on the album.
It closes out with ‘The Crave Collective’, a perfect encapsulation of everything that I, The Burden represent with their sound. The most soul-influenced track, it plays on the genre-hopping end of post hardcore made famous by crooners such as Jonny Craig, a testament to the strong songwriting of the band and the intelligent composition of catchy vocal hooks. All in all, one of the most promising Australian up and coming bands, and Reaktsyia would have most certainly made my ‘best of’ list had I been lucky enough to discover its sheer perfection.
Personal Enjoyment: 10,000/10
Overall IPHYB Rating: 9/10
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