Burn It Up


Many Metal genres' influences converge on the music of this quartet.
November 20, 2023

Metal is always a surprise box in many aspects. In the sense of a scene, all countries have a Metal scene (even in clandestine ways, when laws and governments persecute Metalheads, as happens in where religion imposes its rules). To be honest, this writer can’t remember of hearing to a band from New Zealand before, but finally it happens with “Burn It Up”, the latest release of the quartet BULLETBELT. As a fifth album, too much can be expected in terms of maturing and experience. It’s a form of aggressive Metal, a mix between 30% of Thrash Metal (due the harsh vocals and some nasty parts) and 70% of modern traditional Heavy Metal weight, and melodic grasp of classic Hard Rock and Blues Rock (as heard on the arrangements of the guitars on “Burn the Witch”).

It could be said that they gathered influences from melodic Death Metal of Gothenburg and Finland scenes, with contrasts between harsh tunes on the vocals with clean ones, excellent riffs and arrangements on the guitars, charming keyboards parts and a brutal and technical work on bass guitar and drums, but all their talent and potential arose in a catching and different form of music that entangles the hearers on its unstoppable grasp. It means that the album is truly excellent. Recorded at Massey Studio, Wellington, with the production shared by the quartet and James Goldsmith (who did the sound engineering and mixing as well), and with mastering of Will Borza (done at Borza Mastering), the sonority is abrasive and clean, defined in a point that enables the hearers to hear and comprehend clearly what’s being expressed. And the band denies the use of triggers, patches, simulations or samples, just the live instruments (to keep things organic and in a way that can be reproduced on their shows). And the beautiful and charming artwork was done by Jack Clark (a.k.a. Mr. Wolf), and the design and layout were done by Seiya Ogino of Ogino Design. And if it’s not enough, here are as guests Marie Thompson on the vocals on “Burn the Witch”, and Duane Frew, Tony Eteveneaux, and Charlotte Welch on the backing vocals on “City of One” and “Incendium Magnum Romae”, and on the lead guitars on “City of One” and “House of Death” were recorded by Bryce Patten (of DOWNFALL OF MANKIND).

Nine fiery and catchy songs await you all to be heard and enjoyed. But to just give you a taste of it, “Burn It Up” (a fine combination of a charming melodic sheath with harsh screams is shown, but pay attention to bass guitar and drums arrangements), “Arminius” (another massive blow of energy and melodies, full of energy and excellent clean vocals contrasting with snarls), “City of One” (a Hard Rock/Thrash Metal combination with lovely contrasts between aggressive moments with a full force melodic chorus, and amazing guitar riffs and solos can be heard on this one), “No Afterlife” (a more introspective and bitter song with some modern influences, with excellent guitars), “Burn the Witch” (wow, such accessible and filthy touch of Hard Rock is always a great feature, with such clean vocals laying perfectly on the instrumental sheath)… Wait there! “Incendium Magnum Romae”, “Cosmic” and “House of Death” deserve to be praised in the same way, so you can have in mind that you’re really dealing with strong candidate to one of the best releases of the year!

It’s amazing the level of maturity shown by BULLETBELT, so listen to “Burn It Up”, enjoy and buy a copy to hear again, again and again until you’re satisfied (what is hard with such album, because the more you hear it, the more you’ll love it).

10 / 10









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"Burn It Up" Track-listing:
  1. Burn It Up
  2. Arminius
  3. City of One
  4. No Afterlife
  5. Burn the Witch
  6. Incendium Magnum Romae
  7. Cosmic
  8. House of Death
Bulletbelt Lineup:

Diego Attinger - Vocals, Piano
Josh O’Brien - Guitars
Tim Mekalick - Bass
Steve Francis - Drums

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