South African band, Truth & Its Burden are releasing their third studio album ‘I Labour’ on the 14th July. Produced by Clinton Watts, the Johannesburg based five-piece believe this to be their best album to date saying they are “still a heavy band, we’re just a little more refined and the new album comfortably showcases this”.
After being together for around 10 years, the band have retained their idealism of producing a positive, optimistic outlook in their song-writing and fusing this with an aggressive sound.
‘I Am Eternal’. 30 seconds of ‘twanging’ melodic guitar almost mesmerizing leading to an assault on the hearing – loud, raucous and aggressive – lovely!!!.... Melodic undertones from some lovely riffs which are buried below the death metal vocal, crushingly heavy loud riffs and fast paced drumming before the track ends surprisingly soft and serenely.
‘Empty Promises’. More gritty riffs and dominating aggressive vocals, great bassline running through on the low end. One minute before the end the track becomes more ethereal and has a beautiful clarity. A track with two moods.
‘Dead To The World’ continues with the full on metal vibe but again mixes a lighter feel halfway through the track allowing the melody to crawl through before beating it down again with aggressive riffs.
‘Regain Composure’ a lone voice describing that we are in hell right now amid a torrent of rain setting the scene before the crashing music as the metal kicks in, more varied in tempo and great drumming propel this track forward.
‘Righteous & The Meek’ – no respite as the vocal and riffs crash straight in. A brief lull in the growls and snarls of the vocal to allow the melodic clearer voice to surface.
‘Fortified’ another strong track, lovely melodic riffs etching their way throughout mixed with the dirty grimy lower riffs. A lovely melodic voice changes the tempo and allows another insight into the diversity of the writing and construction of the track. This is a good track.
‘Reset / Renew’ change of pace transporting you away from the heaviness of the proceeding tracks. Lithe voices soaring above the guitars before again being blasted away by the gravel vocal. The track feels calmer in its tone – less angry.
‘Live Through Hell’ is another complex track mixing vocal styles and melody with the out and out brashness of the guitars and relentlessness of the drumming. Rumbling bassline and some really nice complexity to the riffs make this the stand out track of the LP for me.
‘Iron & Fire’ slower paced opening and a nice clarity again with the vocal before exploding into a shouting vocal tinged with anger and despair.
‘Weightless’ the closing track is another varied track – cleaner vocals interspersed with the shouting, angry metal snarls. Great lyrics and a powerful performance leaves a lasting impression.
The whole album is interesting and a good listen – Ashley De Beer, vocals, Calvin Clayden, guitar and backing vocals, Niekie van Niekerk, bass and backing vocals, Matt Sletcher, drums and Erick Gerber, guitar and Backing vocals (touring) have come up with some great tracks, angry aggressive vocals assaulting the eardrums intermingling with some lovely grimy riffs and delicious low-end noise.
If you like metal, you will love this…