Burn it Down – Let the Dead Bury the Dead

Burn it Down
Let the Dead Bury the Dead

Passion. Energy. Chaos. Power. Spirit. These are a few words that could describe a few of the attributes of Indiana’s talented hardcore band Burn it Down. Sadly, the band called it a day a few months back. Let the Dead Bury the Dead was the only full length record that they put out before calling it quits. The album is very good and makes one long for a reunion record so they can pick up where they left off; seemingly ready to conquer the world.
The release previous to this full length, a split EP with Race Traitor on Trustkill Records, showed the band moving forward from its more chaotic/noise beginnings. On that EP, they kept the feel of their early sound but added more texture and mood to it, creating a thicker and heavier mood along with improved song structure. Let the Dead Bury the Dead picks up right where they left off on that release and brings everything to the table to create a formidable, and final, full length.
The majority of the songs on the record are centered around the sound that Burn it Down has developed over the past few years – a mix of noise, metal, and hardcore. The notable thing about this record is that every track stands out in its own way. There are no repeats on this album. Not to say every track is a classic, but they are all well written and the band has obviously taken their time in the studio with the development of the mood. There are several prime examples on the record of this love and care taken.
The opening track, “10 Percent of the Law,” is a punishing mixture of classic Burn it Down (heavy/noisy guitar and screamed vocals) with a bit of added technical brilliance. Time changes, mosh parts, and chaos help make this track one of the best on the record. “The Most Beautiful Lie I Was Ever Told or Sold” is just as heavy as the opening track, but the vocals are a bit more melodic at times and jump back and forth from being sung to screamed. “Bones are Made for Breaking” sucks the listener in with Black Sabbath style riffs that would make any metal head proud. The song eventually moves from this approach to a more brutal Earth Crisis style crunch that helps the push the song forward to another level just before erupting into a traditional hardcore guitar line that brings everything full circle. “But the Past Ain’t Through With Us” taps a bit more into the mainstream metal sound vocally. The vocals are sung somewhat in the vein of Danzig, but not as Jim Morrison sounding. People wanting only hardcore roots-style songs may be disappointed with this one, but it rocks just as hard and heavy as anything else on the record, even if it is a bit sing-songy. The riffs are a bit more groove oriented, but they bring a nice, although different, mood. Eventually the song comes crashing back to the band’s familiar wall of sound.
“Every Man’s Got a Devil” is one of the best tracks on the record. This song is a perfect mix of noise and metal with some incredible break down parts to boot. The band also takes a pretty straightforward stab at the Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black.” This classic song is a perfect cover for them, as it already has a dark and brooding feeling to it much like their own originals. Although Burn it Down’s version lacks the sitar, they still manage to do a good job while making it a bit heavier. The album ends on a beautiful note with an untitled piano ballad. The song is stark and beautiful and truly shows the range of the band.
Burn it Down not only brings politics and other important topics to the mix, but they also delve a bit into spirituality, a subject rarely touched upon these days. There is no sloganeering or finger pointing however. All the lyrics are well written and very intelligent. The lyrics are a bit more metaphorical than some people may like, but that doesn’t keep them from losing their edge. In fact, one could argue that the lyrics bring forth deeper meaning and, in the long run, are more poetic and creative.
Let the Dead Bury the Dead was the first, and final, full length for Burn it Down. It showed the growth and maturity of the band and it makes one sad to see them depart. One can only guess as to the territory that they would have covered had they stuck it out. At least we are left with a fine collection of EPs and this fine full length to remember their legacy as one of the best hardcore bands of the late 90’s and early 00’s.