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Heave Blood And Die - Burnout Codes review

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Band: Heave Blood And Die
Album: Burnout Codes
Release date: January 2024

01. Dog Days
02. Men Like You
03. Hits
04. Stress City
05. Mjelle
06. Things That Hurt
07. Heatwave 3000
08. It All

What would it sound like if a stoner/sludge band suddenly decided to make alternative post-punk?

Well, I'm getting ahead of myself by just placing too many genre tags at once. The gist of it is: Heave Blood And Die used to be a metal band, Heave Blood And Die no longer make metal. Not the first time something like that happened, and sometimes the non-metal genres that bands who abandon metal are still quite tangentially related, like ambient or prog rock or post-rock, but sometimes they go into something that you wouldn't really think to associate with it being metal adjacent. In these cases I'd be tempted to just cover Burnout Codes in our non-metal features and call it a day, but the way Heave Blood And Die's past as a metal band continues to influence how they sound as a non-metal band is a bit too interesting to relegate to that.

Putting a genre tag to Burnout Codes and to the Post People album that preceded it and that started the band's plunge away from metal is a bit difficult, but it was a lot easier to put one on the two albums they released prior to that. The self-titled debut and the roman numeral follow-up were interesting but nonetheless unambiguously categorizable doom/stoner metal albums, though the second one did show signs of approaching the rock side of that genre. That's something that ended up happening with Post People, a record that was more psych rock than stoner metal, but also one that seemed to take a lot from alt rock and the post-punk revival of the early noughties, yet with a bit of a metal still remaining within its sound. Burnout Codes continues that trajectory.

The metal genre that we've chosen to represent Heave Blood And Die's lingering metal side is "post-metal" because a lot of their sound is still dense and trippy but not necessarily in a psychedelic way. The reliance on synth atmospheres does make it sound a bit similar to that Final Light project, since the synths themselves do tend to lean towards both Perturbator and Editors (and weirdest of all, an Altın Gün touch on "Things That Hurt"), and they do also have a hint of heaviness in its atmospheric focus. That denseness is not just due to the synths, with the drumming and the guitar playing also often having a muscular nature to them that's more punky than usual for post-punk stuff, and it's easy to tell also by how gruff the vocals can get that this is not your usual alt rock. But alt rock it still is, with its soundscapes and its chorus focus, and hearing bits of wildly metal-inappropriate influences like The Smiths or Arctic Monkeys in a context that's slightly more metal is quite a unique experience.

The note I have to end the review with is sadly with this quote from the album's Bandcamp page: "The album is dedicated to the memory of Eivind Imingen who decided to end his life between the recording and release of this album." I think it's only fair that I also dedicate this review to their memory, and I'm thankful for how much their bass playing made this album special.

Written on 03.02.2024 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 70 users
03.02.2024 - 22:37
Rating: 6
A Nice Guy
I'm glad they opted to go for this alternative/post-metal approach, it's a very interesting style indeed, and I actually quite enjoy it.

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