Destination Dystopia

rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

02. A Daydream Of Sorrow
03. Exposed To The Dark
04. Downfall
05. Fevered Dreams
06. The Devil's Bride
07. Mass Murder Society
08. Destination Dystopia
09. Fall Into Oblivion
10. My Suicide

Stalwarts of the melodic death metal scene since the mid-'90s, BURDEN OF GRIEF are still rolling at full pelt. Five years after the well-received "Eye Of The Storm", the Germans exhibit no great desire to mix things up and reinvent themselves. Instead, they continue to make music that echoes and expands upon the gleaming, ground-breaking sound of IN FLAMES and DARK TRANQUILLITY. Noticeably gnarlier and heavier than the melo-death average, BURDEN OF GRIEF have spent nearly 30 years becoming the best possible version of themselves, and "Destination Dystopia" plays out like an imperious lap of honor as a result.

Just as bands like SLIPKNOT, ARCH ENEMY and LAMB OF GOD have normalized brutality in the metal mainstream, so BURDEN OF GRIEF blur the lines between death metal's textural grotesquery and a smarter, sharper strain of modern metal that dares to be direct and accessible. Songs like "A Daydream Of Sorrow" and "Downfall" have such clear roots in the evil underground that the slick melodies that emerge from them are genuinely startling. Equally rooted in dark thrash, BURDEN OF GRIEF are manifestly uninterested in courting the pop-metalcore crowd and their ferocity as a unit is unquestionable. But as with their illustrious Swedish forebears, they seem unable to write a song without at least one giant, instantly memorable melody attached to it. "Fevered Dreams" is a death metal song in tooth and claw, but one with a chorus of tuneful, life-affirming hugeness; "The Devil's Bride" is a raucous, heavyweight sea shanty, predicated on a pendulous, swinging groove and peppered with schmaltzy lead breaks and frontman Mike Huhmann's obsidian rasp; the title track dispenses entirely with niceties, and goes for broke with a seething post-PANTERA assault, interspersed with classy bursts of gothic melancholy; "Fall Into Oblivion" is righteously furious and sounds a tiny bit like HEAVEN SHALL BURN at their bruising best.

BURDEN OF GRIEF never try to reinvent the wheel, but they still stamp their own identity on these big, brash songs. The closing "My Suicide" is the most extravagant piece on offer and a brilliant bit of songwriting. Mid-paced and avowedly downhearted, it employs lush crescendos and mellifluous instrumental sections to hammer home the simplest of melodic ideas, and this band's shrewd grasp of what it takes to make melodic death metal as potent as it deserves to be.

A refreshingly straightforward consignment of the good stuff, "Destination Dystopia" needs no gimmicks or guests to make its point. BURDEN OF GRIEF have played to their strengths and made their most compelling album yet.

Author: Dom Lawson
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).