Art of Burning Water - The Voyage of the Pessimistic Philosoph... (IMPORT) (CD EP) Cover Art

Art of Burning Water - The Voyage of the Pessimistic Philosoph... (IMPORT) (CD EP)

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Origin: UK
Released: 2006
Catalog number: HOS005 / SF031
It's a quick one, 10 songs in about 28 minutes. The tunes are hectic, heavy, spastic, schizophrenic and offbeat. Fans of stuff like Keelhaul and Today Is The Day would not be offended by this stuff. The TITD reference is especially apt in the vocals department, as one of the singers (duties are split between the bass player and guitar player) eerily imitates Steve Austin's high pitched screech. If you like it heavy but not standard, check them out.

Art of Burning Water take a hatchet to contemporary metal, hacking off pieces of sludge, stoner rock and noisecore as they go. What results is a pleasingly dense and complex record that simply refuses to be pigeonholed. The band display an eclectic palette of influences and manage to fuse them in such a way that they never come off as sounding derivative or predictable. The riffs are satisfyingly complex, employing more than enough clever time changes to keep you on your toes. All this is backed up by busy, fluid drumming that wouldn't sound out of place on a Mastodon record. The vocals are sick mid to high pitched screams that suggest the early onset of a full blown nervous breakdown.

It's a little like listening to the result of some sordid union between Keelhaul and Converge after one too many beers. Art of Burning Water have all the technical flair of a band like Keelhaul but boast a raw and venomous edge that puts me in mind of British sludge greats Iron Monkey. It's a pleasure to hear a band who haven't forgotten that straight up riffs can happily co-exist side by side with off kilter time signatures.