Burnt Black Burned Out

Mention the music scene in Nova Scotia and people immediately conjure up images of mop-topped teen dreams or kilted Celtic fiddlers. Burnt Black are hell bent on changing that however. Having already established a name for themselves with two previous releases and a barrage of live dates, the Burned Out disc is what could break them to a wider audience. The music on this nine-track disc, only seven of which are actual songs, is firmly rooted in the heavy gut-metal sound of bands like Metallica and Helmet. The band seems to be at least aware of this and introduces different elements to keep their sound from being distractingly derivative. You don't have to listen to closely to hear textured traces of Tool and Badmotorfinger-era Soundgarden or the off-tempo tribal stomp of Stanford Prison Experiment. The only thing that really betrays the disc is the production and mix. But they aren't so distracting as to ruin an otherwise solid effort. It's nothing a little more money and studio time couldn't fix. (D-pendent)