Upon a Burning Body: Red White and Green

“The Stars at night! Are big and bright! Here in the heart of Texas!”

Let me start off by saying that there are 5 records being released in 2012 that I am interested in the most and are the ones that are highly anticipated. Those are: After the Burial, For Today, Upon a Burning Body, Lamb of God, and Lower than Atlantis. I’ve already heard the new Lamb of God record and they didn’t disappoint. The next one would be Upon a Burning Body and HOLY SHIT they didn’t disappoint.

Upon a Burning Body’s first album This World is Ours was released in 2010, but it feels like it’s been years since they first hit the scene. From their debut up to this point they’ve been milking that first album to the point where they could headline festivals just off the songs on that first record. They established themselves as being the best metal/deathcore band (to a degree) and have continued to prove why they’re the best with this new record. There really is nothing one could teach this group that they don’t already know. They’re just fucking brilliant. Plain and simple.

Most of you by now will have already heard the first single “Sin City” which was released about two-three weeks ago. They also released an official music video for another single “One Upon a Time in Mexico” last week. I was really worried that the band weren’t going to be able to reach the same heights as their debut record…that’s the last time I underestimate this band again. Once I heard “Sin City” and THEN “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” I knew exactly what the rest of the album was going to be like and I was happy knowing in the back if my mind that I was  going to love the album. I’ve been playing this record nonstop all weekend and it gets better and better every time.

Even though the band ran out of Al Pacino movies to title their songs, the band still keep that cinematic theme to their song titles. Every one of these song titles is the title of a movie. i don’t believe there’s a single actor in all of them, but Antonio Banderas is in a few of the movies (Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico). I think it’s cool that they do that. A lot of these movies from both albums are some that our generation might not really be into or have even heard of in the first place and I’ll bet that really big fans of Upon a Burning Body probably went out to see these movies to see why they inspired the band so much (I know I did. I’ve watched all the movies referenced in This World is Ours now thanks to UABB).

Besides the two singles, some other standout tracks included “Texas Blood Money”, which is somewhat like this album’s equivalent to “Intermission”; a huge party song, a testament to Texas’ larger than life lifestyle, AND it references Pantera’s “Walk” in the chorus, which I think is brilliant. The two bands may not be in the same boat musically, but I love how they giving thanks to the band that literally put Texas on the metal map. There’s one part that has a really deep guitar  Lamb of God groove where Danny chants “Everything is bigger in texas! Loaded double barrel, blow you to pieces!” I won’t spoil the big breakdown because once you hear it, you’ll be jizzing your pants for the rest of the album.

“El Mariachi” is also an interesting track in that 1) It’s instrumental 2) It’s all acoustic 3) it’s accurate to the style that it’s portraying, which shows the diversity of the group’s repertoire and just some more of the heights the band are taking themselves. The biggest change though that the band made in their sound is that they starting to allow a little more metalcore influences into their music, but don’t be alarmed. Danny doesn’t sing clean at all, but the rest of the band echoes in some of the choruses to give it that melodic, powerful feeling. We actually got a little taste of this in “Heat” in the first album and “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” and “Desperado” on this new album incorporate that too. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it personally. They’ve always had really sing-along type choruses and breakdowns, and to me, this is just a way of giving their sound more depth and makes the songs stand out a little more and become more immediate.

I could go on for days about each track and everything that makes this record amazing, but I won’t say too much because you really need to experience it yourself. There’s absolutely no reason for any fan of this band (or even music for that matter) to not love this record. Every song is epic, anthemic, and a celebration. This is definitely going to be in my top for 2012, and it better be in all of yours.

Anywho, enough of my yapping. Go out and buy this record NOW!

Luke Helker

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