Time to Burn "Is.Land" CDPosted on Monday, March 10th, 2008 @ 6:36am » permalink
Though it's my first exposure to the band's work, "Is.Land" is the third release from French outfit Time to Burn, released by one of France's coolest record labels, Basement Apes Industries (and the LP version is actually being co-released by one of France's other finest labels, the mighty Radar Swarm). I have to thank a kind reader for sending me an email to recommend this album to me, because it's been awhile since I've heard anything from the French scene, and this record is an absolute monster that represents everything that always impressed me so much about so many of the bands from France that these labels tend to deal with: The punishing heaviness counterbalanced with subtly melodic and atmospheric textures, surging low-end throbs and dense rhythms alongside more grating and borderline chaotic textures (but never without a clear sense of control, which makes a huge difference) – and the tempo changes that go along with them, absolutely caustic screams with a few spurts of spoken/sung vocals, totally intense drumming… it's just a great, great piece of work.
The band lists their primary influences as (and draws many comparisons to) the likes of Botch, Shora, Shovel, Cult of Luna, Neurosis, and Breach, but to be honest with you I would absolutely not compare them to any of those bands. There are certainly elements of their sound that are "familiar" to varying degrees, and you can draw parallels to the way certain riffs or structures may have built out from listening to Botch or Shora or Neurosis or what have you, but the overall aesthetic of their sound doesn't really remind me of any of those bands at all, and a lot of the reviews that I've stumbled upon for this album almost cheapen its artistry by focusing so much attention on those influences. I'm certainly no expert on the scene in France by any means, but from what I've observed over the years there just seems to be this awesome circle of top-notch bands and labels over there (which often spreads to their neighbors in Switzerland, it seems) that's all kind of swirling around within this general mishmash of caustic sounds, and that's precisely where Time to Burn falls for me. If they weren't from that area, they'd have reminded me of that particular "circle", so it's all the more fitting that they are in fact from Paris, France, and that this incredible album has already found a home on two of the strongest labels that immediately come to mind when I think of that whole scene as it is! What can I say? I certainly recommend this one, and encourage you to check out these labels' other releases if you haven't already. I've got some catching up to do myself in that department…
I don't think the LP's out just yet, but it should be very soon, so… keep an eye out for that if you're a vinyl junkie.