Rating:
8.2
The 11th Hour - Burden Of Grief
28 October 2009


01. One Last Smoke
02. In The Silent Grave
03. Origins Of Mourning
04. Weep For Me
05. Atonement
06. Longing For Oblivion


It is actually a disgrace that it took me this long to finish this review. All in all, it has, somehow, taken me about five whole months. Why, you might ask? Well, first of all, it seems that I happen to be one of the worse procrastinators in the world of reviewing. Second of all, some albums are apparently hard to review and find the right words for, be it bad or good or average. Burden Of Grief is such an album. Not that it is bad or average, hell no, it is a very good album. Why else would we as Metal Storm staff nominate it in both the 'Best Doom Metal Albums' and 'Best Debut Albums' categories for the Metal Storm Awards 2009?

Listening to this album one thing becomes totally clear. Sometimes life isn't fair at all when it comes to handing out talent. Why? Well, what we have here is a new 'band' by master drummer Ed Warby (Hail Of Bullets, Gorefest, Demiurg, Ayreon, Star One, Elegy ). Not only has he taken care of the drumming on Burden Of Grief but also the bass playing, guitars, clean vocals and programming. And all of those he does more than proficiently. The only aspect he doesn't handle here are the grunts. Those come courtesy of his Demiurg bandmate Rogga Johansson.

Looking at Ed's current and past bands one would think it is safe to asume that The 11th Hour is either a death metal band or something progressive. Well, better guess again. It is, wait for it, a doom metal band. And as it says on the cover of the album "For fans of Candlemass & Paradise Lost". That advertisement isn't too far from the truth for Burden Of Grief contains the epic nature of a Candlemass and the melancholy of a Paradise Lost. Which is not to say that The 11th Hour comes across as a mere carbon copy of those two bands. Hell no, The 11th Hour possesses enough individuality to make it stand out in the increasingly ever more popular doom scene.

What is it that makes this addition to the doom family stand out? It is most probably Ed Warby's clean vocals which might remind one of Buddy Lackey (a.k.a. Devon Graves) of Psychotic Waltz and Deadsoul Tribe fame. So, nice clean, well-articulated vocals that, although coming across fragile, possess enough power not to be overwhelmed by the music.
Musically Burden Of Grief also has more than enough to offer. Within songs epic moments are alternated with more subdued and contemplative moments only to erupt into agressiveness again. The music thus fits the album's concept of that of someone dying of a lung disease (lung cancer maybe? Maybe it's a good idea to ask Ed to comment on the concept by means of a "song by song"-article. The Song By Song explaining the story behind Burden Of Grief has been done by Ed Warby and can be read here). But it's not only clean vocals all the way through the album. The dynamics are helped a lot by, not only the musical variation but also, the addition of grunts, courtesy of Rogga Johansson (Paganizer, Bone Gnawer, Demiurg, Edge Of Sanity, Ribspreader, The Grotesquery, and many others).

Like I just mentioned, lyrically the album is a concept about someone (be it a man or a woman) dying of a lung disease (somehow I keep on thinking lung cancer, could it be due to the first song being called "One Last Smoke"?). So, a subject befitting doom metal. The lyrics in combination with the music are delivered in such a way that I can't happen to shake of the feeling that it is all very personal and close at heart for Ed Warby. Live the emotions are poured forth even more than here on this silver disc.

In conclusion, it is safe to say that Burden Of Grief is an extremely strong, debut, album, be it within its genre (doom), or metal in general. I could recommend this album to anyone who likes his or her metal emotive, well-written, well-preformed and well-produced (clear yet powerful sound accentuating the music where needed). Even if you're not into doom metal be sure to give Burden Of Grief a chance.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: The 11th Hour
Album: Burden Of Grief


 


written by Marcel Hubregtse | 26.03.2010



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Marcel Hubregtse - 26.03.2010 at 13:35  
Great debut album. Be sure to check it out.
Metal Maiden - 26.03.2010 at 14:25  
WoW, these are the same guys form Demiurg!!? Checking them out immediately... Thanks for the tip, Marcel...
Ag Fox - 26.03.2010 at 14:45  
Definitely among the standouts among 2009. You should have worked harder to get this review out before the awards
Marcel Hubregtse - 26.03.2010 at 15:53  
Written by Ag Fox on 26.03.2010 at 14:45

You should have worked harder to get this review out before the awards


I know, and I fully agree *bows head and sneaks away totally ashamed.*
ponderer - 26.03.2010 at 17:43  
Nice review Marcel! I'm actually going to check this one out
Edmund Fogg - 26.03.2010 at 18:32  
Wow...This album takes you in completely.It slowly gets in your head and make it impôssible for you to do anything else but listen.So much power in the vocals and the beat.And this is only a dbut album.They Rock
Marcel Hubregtse - 26.03.2010 at 18:44  
Written by Edmund Fogg on 26.03.2010 at 18:32

Wow...This album takes you in completely.It slowly gets in your head and make it impôssible for you to do anything else but listen.So much power in the vocals and the beat.And this is only a dbut album.They Rock


Will be seeing them for the second time live tonight (now opening for Esoteric). But live they have Pim Blankenstein of Officium Tirste doing the grunt, plus of course Ed himself doing the clean vocals, and guitars, and Bram Bijlhout also of Officium Triste hadnling guitar, as well as Petra Gruijt on guitar, Dirk Bruinen of Adagio, Patrick Rondat, Elegy handling the drums and Daniël Huijben of Cirrha Niva on bass.
Edmund Fogg - 26.03.2010 at 18:55  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 26.03.2010 at 18:44

Written by Edmund Fogg on 26.03.2010 at 18:32

Wow...This album takes you in completely.It slowly gets in your head and make it impôssible for you to do anything else but listen.So much power in the vocals and the beat.And this is only a dbut album.They Rock


Will be seeing them for the second time live tonight (now opening for Esoteric). But live they have Pim Blankenstein of Officium Tirste doing the grunt, plus of course Ed himself doing the clean vocals, and guitars, and Bram Bijlhout also of Officium Triste hadnling guitar, as well as Petra Gruijt on guitar, Dirk Bruinen of Adagio, Patrick Rondat, Elegy handling the drums and Daniël Huijben of Cirrha Niva on bass.


I gotta say I'm not a huge fan of watching this kind of band live.It doesn't have the same impact.But it does sound like a great show
Ask - 26.03.2010 at 20:13  
Loved this album. Reminded me a lot of Silent Ruins.
Troy Killjoy - 26.03.2010 at 21:38  
A very nice debut; I look forward to hearing from these guys again. The rating seems fair, even for someone as pedantic as Marcel.
Black Conundrum - 26.03.2010 at 22:22  
The review is well written. Also, The 11th Hour seems like a very good band. I've heard at least one of their songs.
Marcel Hubregtse - 27.03.2010 at 19:20  
Mmm yesterday instead of Petra playing guitar we got Frank Harthoorn instead and he is apparently the new live guitarist. So that is almost some sort of half Gorefest reunion then hahahaha. What should we call thsi live formation? Which is 2 Gorefest now and also Officium Triste and add to that 1 Elegy and 1 Cirrha Niva
Daggon - 28.03.2010 at 05:06  
2009 was full of awesome Doom metal releases, and this album is not an exception, it wasn't very easy to digest this work but I gotta say that it has some great moments, I'd like to listen subsequent albums to see if Ed Warby can make a successful career in the doom metal scene Nice job!
Clintagram - 30.03.2010 at 02:16  
Listening to "One Last Smoke" I can't help but notice Ed's vocals sound a little low in the mix; like they are behind the guitar's wall of sound. Perhaps it is just my speakers, but does anyone else notice this? Otherwise, it sounds pretty good so far; different for Ed, but good.
Marcel Hubregtse - 30.03.2010 at 12:25  
Written by Clintagram on 30.03.2010 at 02:16

Listening to "One Last Smoke" I can't help but notice Ed's vocals sound a little low in the mix; like they are behind the guitar's wall of sound. Perhaps it is just my speakers, but does anyone else notice this? Otherwise, it sounds pretty good so far; different for Ed, but good.


I don't have that problem at all. Okay, it's not like the vocals are totally up front, but they aren't drowned out either.
corrupt - 30.03.2010 at 14:45  
For someone not in general into doom who enjoys his occasional Candlemass, this album doesn't deliver quite as advertised. I've been listening to it for two weeks now and I'm continuously put off by the profanity of it's lyrics. Just like black metal I like doom to be somewhat mystical and subtle in lyrics. The atmosphere created by the music can either be amplified by well-written lyrics or dampened by blunt worldly ones. The more I listen to this album the more it becomes apparent that the latter is taking place here.
Justicelust - 30.03.2010 at 17:01  
I had this album and didn't like it much but after this review I realized that this is a gem.
Marcel Hubregtse - 30.03.2010 at 17:23  
Song By Song about the album written by Ed Warby will be put on-line tomorrow.
Marcel Hubregtse - 30.03.2010 at 19:35  
Written by corrupt on 30.03.2010 at 14:45

For someone not in general into doom who enjoys his occasional Candlemass, this album doesn't deliver quite as advertised. I've been listening to it for two weeks now and I'm continuously put off by the profanity of it's lyrics. Just like black metal I like doom to be somewhat mystical and subtle in lyrics. The atmosphere created by the music can either be amplified by well-written lyrics or dampened by blunt worldly ones. The more I listen to this album the more it becomes apparent that the latter is taking place here.



I don't really see any profanity in the lyrics (where is all the swearing?) However, the lyrics are direct and hit home hard. But imo that is a good thing considering the subject matter which I think doesn't call for something mystical and subtle. But, of course that is just my opinion here.
corrupt - 30.03.2010 at 19:59  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 30.03.2010 at 19:35

I don't really see any profanity in the lyrics (where is all the swearing?) However, the lyrics are direct and hit home hard. But imo that is a good thing considering the subject matter which I think doesn't call for something mystical and subtle. But, of course that is just my opinion here.

Profanity doesn't only mean being vulgar. It also describes worldlyness as opposed to using metaphors and actually painting a picture you can reflect upon instead of hitting you in the face with the exact words you want to convey with no room for the listeners fantasy to work on the material.
Marcel Hubregtse - 31.03.2010 at 18:02  
Written by corrupt on 30.03.2010 at 19:59

Profanity doesn't only mean being vulgar. It also describes worldlyness as opposed to using metaphors and actually painting a picture you can reflect upon instead of hitting you in the face with the exact words you want to convey with no room for the listeners fantasy to work on the material.


OKay, ince I wasn't 100% sure about it I looked it up and here is what profane and profanity mean:

pro·fane (pr-fn, pr-)
adj.
1. Marked by contempt or irreverence for what is sacred.
2. Nonreligious in subject matter, form, or use; secular: sacred and profane music.
3. Not admitted into a body of secret knowledge or ritual; uninitiated.
4. Vulgar; coarse.
tr.v. pro·faned, pro·fan·ing, pro·fanes
1. To treat with irreverence: profane the name of God.
2. To put to an improper, unworthy, or degrading use; abuse

pro·fan·i·ty (pr-fn-t, pr-)
n. pl. pro·fan·i·ties
1. The condition or quality of being profane.
2.
a. Abusive, vulgar, or irreverent language.
b. The use of such language.
profanity [prəˈfænɪtɪ]
n pl -ties
1. the state or quality of being profane
2. vulgar or irreverent action, speech, etc.


So, nothing to do with worldiness as opposed to using metaphors. Maybe somehow you mix up the word profanity with smething else. but I do get what you mean now. Well, for me not every single lyric has to use metaphors (but the again even clearcut speech is riddled with metaphors as are Ed's lyrics, for more on those types of metaphors Lakoff & Johnson's Metaphors We Live By is required reading imo) Imo I think with the subject matter of the concept it really works well using every day language.

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