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"Apparition" (Pavement Europe / Crash Music)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

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When I heard that Richard Christy's band, Burning Inside, was putting out a new disc titled "Apparition" I became enthralled at the prospect of hearing what Richard Christy would sound like outside of his efforts with Archeron, Death, Control Denied, Demons & Wizards, and Iced Earth. Turns out I got my hopes up.

"Apparition" is not bad by any means - I just thought it could be a lot more than it is. The obvious comparisons will bring you right to most Floridian death metal bands. Little bits and pieces of Morbid Angel and Death can be heard, but there is a touch of flavor of bands like Mercyful Fate that creep into the mix. Burning Inside is certainly not derivative, but whether or not it is unique enough to deserve recognition among all the death metal bands proliferating the earth is debatable. 

Most of the songs start out fast and furious and continue that way through most of the verses and choruses. Each of the songs actually has a highlight or two - these highlights are typically during the solos when the music slows down enough so that the listener can hear the creativity that this band is capable of. The solos and backing rhythms in "Therapy" are phenomenal musical examples of what extreme metal can be. The epics "The Fog" and "Resurrection And Revenge" are well thought out and have some pretty neat dual-guitar work sections in each. "Gates Of Hell" has a decent schizo-split between the brutal parts and the atmospheric bits. The title track has a speedy, yet riff-oriented pattern that harkens to the days when thrash made its mark on the world. Burning Inside's penchant for technicality wins points from me, too.

The vocals are pretty typical of the brutal death metal genre. Jamie Prim's deep growl is mostly shouted in a strained fashion that gives the impression of too much effort and not enough enjoyment. But maybe that was the intention? Chuck Schuldiner always managed to sound sinister without sounding like he was killing himself; that's not the case here. The lyrics are better than average - although the choices of words are pretty standard the structure of the lyrics paint pictures for the mind to go along with the musical mayhem. A few of the songs deal with the stereotypical subject matter of death and the underworld, but a few songs deal with more heady matters like psychic pain and turmoil. 

"Apparition" is basically eight tracks with two ominous keyboard pieces tacked on for mood that would not seem out of place on a black metal CD.

Quite frankly, as I mentioned earlier, I expected more from a project that Richard Christy would be involved in. However, I can say that "Apparition" is something I'll be pulling off the shelf from time to time and I'm sure it'll grow on me. It will be interesting to know what my opinions of this disc are in one year's time.

Burning Inside is on Jamie Prim on bass and vocals, Steve Childers on guitars, Michael Estes on bass and keyboards, and Richard Christy on drums and keyboards.

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Rating Guide:

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) A classic. This record will kick your ass.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

restinks.jpg (954 bytes) Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 25 Mar 2018 16:17:34 -0500.