Some bands change for the better, and others wither away into irrelevance. After listening to The World Is My Enemy Now, I feel that Upon A Burning Body is on the brink of the latter. The San Antonio based group brought something new to the table with their first release The World Is Ours, and solidified that sound with Red. White. Green. Though their first two singles from the new record remained true to their previous releases, the rest of the album seems to be a huge departure from what UABB is known for. The group also staged some sort of publicity stunt, reporting that their vocalist Danny Leal had been kidnapped. That stunt was then followed up with the announcement of their new album, and new singles. Setting those things aside, what can the listener expect from this album?
For one, you’ll still hear songs like “Scars,” and “Red Razor Wrists,” which are among the few songs that sound like the UABB style. The chugging guitars, fast-paced drums, and energetic vocals are all found in The World Is My Enemy Now. This time around UABB has adopted some new styles into their sound, some good and some bad. For example, some of their lead guitar riffs in this release sound a little closer to an older metal style whereas Red. White. Green. had some deathcore-mariachi stylized riffs. The intro to the song “Scars” also has an added Slipknot-esque techno effect, which I thought was a great addition.
Small changes like these were not unnoticed, but were not huge departures from their previous releases. Every band evolves throughout their musical career, but it seems to me that Upon A Burning Body lost some of their edge with the loss of some key members. Within the last couple of years, UABB has lost drummers and guitarists, but this release seems to show the most change. Perhaps this is due to the loss of members, but it could just be the band has chosen to take a different path with the band. Tracks like “The New Breed” open up with twangy, bluesy-sounding guitar licks that then transition to a Pantera-like guitar chug. The song “I’ve Earned My Time” have that nu-metal sound with guest vocals from Telle Smith of The Word Alive. Matt Heafy also lends his voice to the song “Blood, Sweat, and Tears,” which has that previously mentioned old-school metal vibe.
Lyrically, Danny Leal sticks true to that same tough-guy attitude that he is known for. Upon A Burning Body has always been one of those bands that you just have to get crazy for when you see them live, so their lyrics reflect that tremendously. After the stunt they pulled, UABB released the single “Red Razor Wrists” that ironically shows the mentality they had for the amount of hate they received.
I’m not sorry for the way that I am
When you never had anything, how far would you go to have it all?
My overall impression after listening through the album was that of disappointment. I was extremely excited for another release from them, but, in my opinion, they dropped the ball with this one. It lacks the musicianship that previous releases had, and the creativity that propelled the band onto the forefront of their scene. Still, fans of the band will find tracks on there that will satisfy any metalhead and others will find songs that just make you want to mosh.
For fans of Impending Doom, Slipknot, and Those Who Fear