Destination Dystopia

Burden Of Grief

“Destination Dystopia” is a gift for all melodic Death Metal fans, who love old school melodeath with epic melodies, and a melancholic twist
February 19, 2024

BURDEN OF GRIEF hailing from Warburg, Germany were formed in 1994. The melodic Death Metal outfit released so far seven full-length albums. “Destination Dystopia” is their release number eight, and it has a length of about 46 minutes. The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Kristian Kohlmannslehner (ABORTED; BENIGHTED; POWERWOLF). “Destination Dystopia” was released via German Black, Death, Power, and Gothic Metal specialists Massacre Records.

The album’s first song is “World Under Attack”, which starts with an extended guitar part delivering epic melodies and transitioning into a classic melodeath track with mid-tempo verse parts, direct and aggressive guitar riffing, a lot of double-bass drumming, and growling vocals, which range between the medium to lower end of the guttural range. The chorus lines are intensified by background vocals. There are a few tempo and rhythm changes throughout the track with some fast parts included. The melodic framework of the track maintains its epic features that has been set at the beginning. “A Daydream Of Sorrow” starts with powerful riffing at mid-tempo. The track is a bit more direct and aggressive than the opener and less playful in the melodies. The chorus parts are thunderous but again epic and the chorus lines are almost anthemic. The break leading to the lead guitar solo is supported by symphonic features, which give the break an additional layer. “A Daydream Of Sorrow” is for me an early album highlight. “Exposed To The Dark” starts with fast tempo during the verse part, while the chorus part is at mid-tempo. The melodies are very dark, especially during the chorus parts and the break in which they have some melancholic features. The chorus melodies are doom-laden and remind me at times on the early 90s period of PARADISE LOST.

Downfall” is very different from the preceding track: it has pace, it has aggression, the riffing is direct, there is a lot of double-bass drumming, and the vocals are perfectly suited to that type of track. The chorus parts are catchy and again anthemic. The track is simply crushing with an excellent lead guitar solo during the break. It is clearly one of my album favorites. “Fevered Dreams” continues with the double-bass festival, and it continues with the speed. It is another track at fast pace, direct verse parts, and chorus parts with epic and dark melodies. The song contains the best elements that melodic Death Metal can offer, and it is another album highlight. It is no surprise that “Fevered Dreams” was released as video and the YouTube link is provided below. “The Devil’s Bride” has a slow start at a measured tempo and powerful guitar riffing. The track covers the dark and melancholic side of melodic Death Metal, in particular during the chorus parts, while the verse parts are driven by the thunderous riffing. The bridge leading to the chorus parts is fast and crushing and sets a counterpoint to the epic and melancholic choruses. “Mass Murder Society” starts with very heavy riffing leading into the fast verse part. While the verse parts are devastating, the short bridges for the chorus parts are real head-bangers. The chorus parts deliver the epic elements of the track at a measured tempo.

The title track is a mixture of fast and direct verse parts and mid-tempo chorus parts. While the verse and chorus parts of the track are punishing, the break for the lead guitar solo is somewhat the opposite with the solo being playful with melancholic melodies. This adds a different dimension to the title track, even though I would have loved to get at least one complete hammering from the album. “Fall Into Oblivion” would go into the category classical melodeath with a melancholic twist. The verse parts have everything that I love in melodic Death Metal: speed, aggression, direct but melodic riffing, double-bass drumming, even a few blast-beats. The chorus parts and the lead guitar solo contain the epic and slightly melancholic melodies at a measured tempo. The album finishes with “My Suicide” and it is again the well-tried combination of crushing verse parts and epic choruses. It is a mid-tempo track with slower head-banging verse parts. Highlight of the track is the very contributing lead guitar solo, even though it overemphasizes the melancholic parts of the track for my taste. Altogether a good ending to the album despite the track sounds a bit unfinished.

BURDEN OF GRIEF deliver an excellent melodic Death Metal album. “Destination Dystopia” is devastating, dark, epic, and melancholic. It is a traditional melodeath album at its base, but it is also very diverse, dynamic, and keeps the listener on their toes. “Destination Dystopia” is not the result of individual contributions, it lives from the teamwork where every band member can shine, and the album sound is very well kept together by the vocals. The album is well produced. “Destination Dystopia” is a gift for all melodic Death Metal fans, who love the mixture of old school melodeath and epic melodies.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

Songwritting

9

Musicianship

9

Memorability

9

Production

8
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"Destination Dystopia" Track-listing:
  1. World Under Attack
  2. A Daydream Of Sorrow
  3. Exposed To The Dark
  4. Downfall
  5. Fevered Dreams
  6. The Devil’s Bride
  7. Mass Murder Society
  8. Destination Dystopia
  9. Fall Into Oblivion
  10. My Suicide
Burden Of Grief Lineup:

Mike Huhmann Vocals

Phillip Hanfland Guitars

Dominik Hellmuth ­ Guitars

Manuel Lüke Drums

Florian Bauer Bass

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