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Burntfield: Hereafter

A Dutch based, but Finnish born outfit, Burntfield cover a lot of ground on their debut album, Hereafter, while somehow never moving from their starting point. A variety of nuances are applied to what is, as often as not, a sedate and considered shimmer of ideas. And with the wonderful, warm acoustic guitar picking and synth layers on “The Failure” it would be fitting if we could rename this track ‘Success’. With lush strings adding another layer of poignancy and the vocals from Juho Myllyla - who also plays guitar alongside Valtterri Seppanen - controlled and contained it’s a window into the claustrophobic world this band create. The guitar pair do also provide a crunching riff, which comes and goes as proceedings progress, but as with much of this album, it’s more done for embellishment than with any real intention of allowing their guitars to drive things on. “What Remains” again uses this smooth framework and builds the atmosphere up impressively. A violin pulling further at the emotions, where layered voices slide out a soft bed for the anguished ideals to land safely.

Although “Q&A” has nothing to do with The Moody Blues’ “Question”, there’s an undoubted air of the gentler side of Hayward and co as this acoustic guitar based piece is taken up by the kick-drum thump of Steven Favier. It’s the more contemporary prog edge of Anathema which comes forcibly to the fore on “In The Air”, the impassioned vocals of Daniel Cavanagh brought to mind by the careful delivery of Myllyla on this occasion; although it’s not a link I’d make readily on every track on show.

“Sub-Zero” offers the album’s only real change of pace, a punchier burst of guitars interspersed across a soft-rock, almost pop construction that seems to lose impact the more you hear it. I applaud Burntfield’s desire to offer a break from the well intentioned gloom elsewhere, but whether this is the correct dosage of that antidote, I’m not quite so sure. To be fair though, to these ears, something a little different is an element that Hereafter could benefit from, for while there are no real chinks in the glistening but austere armour this outfit have crafted, it does take a long time to get under your skin and can on occasion feel encumbered by its own intentions. In those more introspective moments, however, there’s no denying that this band can hit the spot.

Track Listing
1. Now
2. Sub-zero
3. My Grief
4. Feeling of Love
5. Q&A
6. In The Air
7. The Failure
8. What Remains
9. Hereafter

Added: November 23rd 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Burntfield online
Hits: 1093
Language: english

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