Published Aug 25, 2009Burnt by the Sun have achieved near-legendary status in the years since their sophomore full-length, The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good. Being one of the few critically embraced metalcore bands and featuring the physics-defying Dave Witte (Municipal Waste, Human Remains) on drums has left them in the enviable position of seemingly being able to do no wrong. While Heart of Darkness delivers the goods, it will nonetheless leave a bittersweet taste knowing they've decided to end the group once the disc's touring cycle is complete. Stylistically, it leans more towards their debut's front-to-back assault, excising the interludes and more open-ended passages of the last record in favour of relentless, overwhelming aggression. Touches of grindcore are still sporadically present but the album is easily their most direct release, leaning towards a mid-paced gallop for the most part, only slowing for the occasional tastefully utilized breakdown. Mike Olender's vocals remain the measuring stick by which all others in the genre should be judged by - they're passionate yet never lacking in vitriol and articulate, observant lyrical content. While it's a shame we'll likely never hear from them again, BBTS are a (sort of) living testament to the time-tested adage that it's better to burn out than to fade away.
Is there any chance that you guys will continue if the album is well received?
Olender: Dave and I rejoined the band to write this last record and that's all. Supporting the record with some shows is something that we all agreed needed to happen but continuing on like we were is not really an option. I am satisfied with where we are right now and would not want to either overstay our welcome or end on a different note. There is the temptation to keep things going but that's not really possible, at least not for me.
The new record is simultaneously more intense yet more dynamic than older material. Was the writing process natural or did you set out to write and record a career-defining album?
The writing process was very natural. A lot has happened to us all personally in the last few years so there was a lot of energy to pull from. At the same time, we did realize that this was going to be our last record and wanted to end on a strong note. With Perfect, we thought that we stepped out a bit too far with both the music and the album concept. The earlier material is the material that I think represents the band the best and in some ways this new record should have been the record following Soundtrack to the Personal Revolution.
Is there an underlying lyrical concept to Heart of Darkness? How does it compare thematically with your previous releases?
Bassist Ted Patterson: Basically, Soundtrack took at look at ourselves, The Perfect looked at things around us and Heart of Darkness lays the blame where it belongs. (Relapse)