It’s extremely hard to pin down in words why Burst’s “Lazarus Bird” is such an addictive, invigorating and rewarding listening. Perhaps it’s their persistent refusal to avoid tags and preconceptions by incorporating a wide variety of layers, styles and textures in such a compelling and exciting way that is impossible to remain indifferent. Or maybe it’s due to the pure strength of their mighty and creative riffs that cannot be confined to one particular genre. Or better yet, it’s probably thanks to their contemplative and dense ambiences interspersed between bursts of ravaging fury as if we were dealing with the symptoms of a schizophrenic patient. Whatever the nature of “Lazarus Bird” that forces such interminable submission, one thing is certain though, it’s easily one of the most demanding and delightful record that you’ll hear all year.
Every song is so complexly layered and well structured like for instance the opener “I Hold Vertigo” which shows more variation throughout its seven plus minutes than some groups display throughout a whole album. It starts with a Hardcore punch and immediacy but soon drifts into a Progressive-styled Rock akin to King Crimson, then towards its end evokes the intimate ambient of Neurosis elegiac moments. Despite its experimental vein, the following track retains an intriguing catchiness with its blend of Mastodon’s rhythmical shifts and twists with Tool-type crescendos. Both “We Are Dust” and “Momentum” start off with brooding ambient sections close to Neurosis before recapturing that claustrophobic intensity of their Hardcore origins.
“Cripple God” and “Nineteenhundred” are personal favourites, while the first theme displays a sludgy vibe with some truly dazzling and memorable leads, the strange coupling of groovy rhythms with jazzy quirkiness of the second one sound like Henry Rollins jamming with John Zorn’s Naked City.
Clocking nearly the ten minute mark, “(We Watched) The Silver Rain” is gem of epic proportions with Burst revealing a penchant for twin guitar lines more in tow with classic Heavy-Metal.
Bottom line, Burst’s “Lazarus Bird” is such an incredible record that will eventually force Mastodon to overhaul their upcoming record to prevent the risk of sounding dull in comparison because the Swedes have just upped the ante.