REVIEW: The Browning – Burn This World

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Album: Burn This World
Band: The Browning
Genre: Electronic Metalcore
Label: Earache Records

Things that go well together: peanut butter and jelly, rainbows and unicorns, football and wings, etc. Not all things are so easily and obviously paired, however, especially when it comes to music. Robert Plant and Allison Krauss was a pretty great musical pairing, and one that seemed pretty arbitrary and out of the blue. The juxtaposition of electronic dance music and metalcore isn’t really a new pairing, but is still one that’s not exactly ordinary. The last few years have seen a fair number of such combinations, some of which were pretty great, others that were…not as good.

Enter The Browning. They’re four younger lads from Texas trying their hand at electronic metalcore. 2011’s Burn This World is the band’s full-length debut, but they’re clearly not letting that stop them as they’ve accumulated a remarkable 17,000 likes on their Facebook page. Burn This World is an album that feels very elementary, almost by design. All over the heavy guitar parts are hyper-calculated, as are the the numerous synth lines throughout the album. Even the vocals are extraordinarily tight, further conveying the ideal of rigidity in the band’s sound.

Musically, however, the band will find little redemption. While they’re working with a really great idea and sound, the actual musical content falls a bit flat during many moments of the album. The only way this album comes across as new or interesting is if you’ve never heard the latest wave of deathcore or totally missed the Hollywood Undead bandwagon, and let’s face it–anyone who discovered this band on their own probably isn’t in either demographic. A handful of catch synth lines and rhythmically interesting breakdown sections aren’t quite enough to combat the general lack of dynamic on the album. There’s even a dubstep breakdown for whatever reason, and it doesn’t really fit on the album whatsoever.

While my criticisms of the album are rather harsh, it’s important to accept the album for what it appears to be. If it truly is supposed to be electronic deathcore, it will shine in the live setting. It’s truly difficult to imagine that this music is anything other than fun in a live setting. It hits hard (albeit mostly because of the band’s egregious use of bass drops) and it gets very danceable at certain parts. The real problem here is that so little of this material is memorable, and the more listens Burn The World is given, the more it all runs together.

A solid B for effort, and A for sound, an A for idea, and a D for execution. Many of the cool ideas and underlying motifs for songs come across as underdeveloped and half-baked which makes for a pretty mediocre listen overall. The flow from song to song is quite static, and unless you’re bringing it with 110% every track, that’s not going to fly. These boys have promise, however, and I’d be completely shocked if their next release wasn’t leaps and bounds better than Burn This World.

Overall score: 6/10
Review written by: Jordan Munson (check him out on Twitter)

Check out the official video for “Burn This World” below:

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