Blackbriar – We’d Rather Burn (Self-Released)

Sunday, 21st October 2018
Rating: 9/10

Following hot on the heels of last year’s Fractured Fairytales EP, Blackbriar returns with another new EP in We’d Rather Burn. As with said release, Blackbriar have a distinctive voice that allows them some breathing room in the modern metal field, which also operates to transport you to a distant realm of ethereal beauty and enchantment.

There’s something immediately intoxicating about the sum of the parts of Blackbriar’s music. Zora’s vocals lure you in with their beauty and almost floaty tone. “Cry of the Banshee” centers on these vocals and it portrays the feeling of a siren song. This works quite well in contrast to what the music surrounding her provides – a dreamscape-ridden, gothic flavor that does at times sound like a fairy tale come to life. “Arms in the Ocean” builds itself up over the course of the track, from a sweeping quiet at it’s start to a riveting and powerful climax that’s dark yet inviting. The first track, “I’d Rather Burn” utilizes some wickedly catchy riffs and whimsical arrangements and orchestrations, something amplified this time around with symphonic metal go-to guy Joost van den Broek’s involvement. All excellent components on their own, but when it is all put together, Blackbriar have a rare magic that sets them above a number of more ‘established’ names in the genre. Just listen to “Let Me In,” a deceptively straight-forward song that shows a depth in atmosphere more and more with each successive spin. Blackbriar draw you in easily, but they have no intention of letting you depart anytime soon thereafter.

With solid improvements in both songwriting and atmosphere, Blackbriar have positioned themselves for a deserved larger audience. Given a core of rabid followers (their Indiegogo campaign was quite successful for this release), it’s just a matter of time before word gets spread. We’d Rather Burn has just the right combination of gothic flair and catchy hooks.

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