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Open Burn - Divine Intermission

Open Burn
Divine Intermission
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 19 July 2018, 6:57 AM

"Divine Intermission" is the debut full-length album of OPEN BURN, a new Progressive Power Metal band from the United States, featuring veteran musicians of the scene. OPEN BURN includes three members of the legendary US Progressive Power Metal band LETHAL (the classic "Programmed" era). OPEN BURN is Eric W. Johns (vocals), Dell Hull (guitars), Glen Cook (bass) and Jerry Hartman (drums). Highly recommended for fans of LETHAL, QUEENSRYCHE, FATES WARNING and HEIR APPARENT, "Divine Intermission" was released on June 29, 2018, on No Remorse Records. The album contains eight tracks.

“Prison of Me” is the opening track. Following a slow drum beat intro, the main riff comes in. It’s a mid-tempo groove that is reminiscent of early QUEENSRYCHE or FATES WARNING for sure. But the sound is a bit more somber and linear, and not as Proggy. “Drawing Lines” is a faster moving song. In the production or mixing there is something just a bit foggy in the guitars, though being able to hear the bass notes easily is a good thing. The vocals are prominent as well. “Statues” opens with melancholy clean guitar, and tender vocal notes, which are just a bit pitchy at times. The overall sound is pleasant on the ears but a bit thin—bulking it up with some accents or harmonies might round it out better. Just my opinion.

“A Stone’s Throw” has a grim opening sound but leads to a mid-tempo riff that chugs along with bass notes that sometimes play in unison and other times dance around the main riff. “Mary’s Lament” has a tender opening sound with some mystery in the guitar notes. The guitars and bass work well here to provide a thicker sound but the pacing is just too familiar. Vocalist Johns reaches down deep here to push some emotion in the upper ranges. “Seven” hits me a little deeper. It has an alluring charm in its despondency, back to an idea I visit often in music that the darkness can hold a beauty all of its own.

“Pointless” has a tough and dangerous type of opening, leading to a groovy rhythm and dark landscape. The vocals are agonizing laments while the main riff plods away underneath. “Dissection Lullaby” closes the album. Clean guitar notes ring out in the beginning with some light cymbal work. From there it is a depressive affair with vocals in the low range for the most part. The album as a whole definitely reminds me of the earlier work of the two aforementioned bands in both the compositions and the production. Both bands I enjoy very much, so the sound presented is something I like. But, it doesn’t have the impact that I had hoped for, as too many of the songs push the same slower tempo and somber tones, without enough peaks or layers to thicken it up. Keep in mind that it is a debut effort from the band, so all they can do from here is go forward.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Prison of Me
2. Drawing Lines
3. Statues
4. A Stone’s Throw
5. Mary’s Lament
6. Seven
7. Pointless
8. Dissection Lullaby
Eric W. Johns – Vocals
Dell Hull – Guitars
Glen Cook – Bass
Jerry Hartman – Drums
Record Label: No Remorse Records


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