Review: Left Behind – ‘Blessed By The Burn’

Noise, angst, grit and melodrama are all undeniable qualities that compose and define the emerging new sound of West Virginia-based group LEFT BEHIND. Signed to Unbeaten Records, the group’s status is one of ambiguity for upon listening to them it’s incredibly easy to mistake them for a Southern Lord Records group. Their new LP, ‘Blessed by the Burn’ is in style analogous to contemporaries such as PRIMITIVE MAN and ALL PIGS MUST DIE, although perhaps a little less punk-influenced than the latter.

The album opens with ‘West By God‘ which really does set the mood for the whole record. It’s noisy, chunky, full and distorted. They’re not a 100% sludge-oriented group as there are other elements in there yet indeed this seems to be one of their main musical priorities. Musically this track features many breakdowns and is also quite short. ‘Sweetness of Nothing’ is where the group start to become a bit more “groovy” in nature as the music seeks to represent a high level of foot-tapping involvement through the medium of slow riffs and reverbed crash-cymbals. Production-wise they’re a good group; in fact upon listening to them one does experience an overwhelmingly comfortable equilibrium of volume permeating the ear-drum. ‘Focus on the Flesh’ is also fairly snappy in nature. ‘Tough Love’ and ‘Twenty Four’ are the following two tracks and I’d say they represent the album’s zenith of energy when experienced in succession. Of course, the title track immediately follows and obtains the qualifications for being the longest track on the record. It’s just below five-minutes but even so they’re a group that don’t need an awful lot of time get the message across. ‘Scarred Soul’ and ‘Early Mourning’ continue the group’s exploration into sharp, punk-fuelled noise territory while ‘Paranoid’, (no, not the BLACK SABBATH song) seethes with unyielding fury. Three more minutes of perennial punk fill the surface with closing track ‘Burn Out’ until the album ends almost exactly how it began; – a spiralling whirlwind of cacophony.

Be sure to check out the links below! ( a track from their previous LP ‘Seeing Hell’)

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