Band: Burnt Belief
Label: Alchemy Records
Label Website: www.alchemyrecords.com
Release Date: 2014
This is the second offering from the collaboration of Colin Edwin (bass) and John Durant (guitar) known together as Burnt Belief and itís a follow-up to what was originally thought to be the one off Dance of the Shadow Planets in 2011. The pair enjoyed working together on that first album even taking the project through to some live performances. So much so they didnít hesitate to come together for a second time to create Etymology. This time they have added a variety of drummers into the mix; Vinny Sabatino, Dean McCormick and Jose Duque along with electric violin performances from classical musician Steve Bingham. The end result is a deceptively captivating set of compositions that have much to offer fans of progressive rock.
Etymology features eleven instrumental compositions clocking in at seventy-one minutes with selections ranging in length from as short as 4:36 to as long as 11:37 with most of the rest just over six-minutes. I put that out there simply to say that these are tunes that build and change in everything from time and tempo to mood and atmosphere. The use of three different drummers, each with their own technical style enhances the overall dramatic effect as some of these selections take on a spacey vibe, others more rock and some even hint at reggae. Many times one musical style will transition into another in the same song. Also the length allows for a tremendous amount of interplay between the bass and guitar. Typically bass and drums provide the rhythmic foundation to any sound, and thatís true to a certain extent here, but the bass also performs very much a lead role too. Sometimes like on the track ďHraunfossarĒ [6:39] you even end up with three lead instruments, namely bass, guitar AND violin. Its a track that tends to emphasize more of the spacey, ambient side of the Burnt Belief compositional style. But even here the music builds and changes over time.
The music of Burnt Belief is quite captivating, mid-tempo, subdued, atmospheric and even hypnotic. On my first few listens, the music went in one ear and out the other. Little did I know that bits of music were sticking to my brain with each listen and one day I put it on and the whole thing blossomed like a flower of musical expression. Edwin and Durant play exceedingly well together but more than that they play well against each other. Itís that magical ability to know your place in the mix that makes the music of Etymology so engaging. This is a great CD that you can listen to over and over again and hear something new each time. Well done.