Throwing Bricks
The Burden

Listen, there is only one, single reason why I checked out the second album from the Netherlands’ Throwing Bricks. It certainly wasn’t that cover or the band’s name. It was the fact the email promotion threw out Fall of Efrafa ( and Oathbreaker) as a ‘For Fans Of’ band listing.

And it ended up being a solid blind listen as The Burden, not quite being a replacement for Fall of Efrafa or Light Bearer, being more in the realms of Burst or Isis or fellow Dutchmen MØL. But it still has some nice additional crust and even black metal elements melded in successfully to create a very enjoyable album. Case and point, excellent 7 minute opener “Bricks of Grace” which has heaving post-metal/hardcore/sludge lopes, introspective bridges, huge bellows, pained screams, and a peak/climax of about 6 minutes in, which I really enjoyed.

The second track, “False Promises” is also a solid track and continues with the post-metal throb and lumber with some mountainous opening riffage, an acoustic bridge, and another late song peak. It’s the third song “Cleary Awake” where I get a bit of a Fall of Afrafa/Light Bearer vibe, with the more urgent, jangly/ crusty/punky chord progression and a very nice blackened, tremolo-picked blast beat than could be from Deafheaven’s Sunbather.

Another one of those more blackened moments appears in “Doubt” as well, and to start the excellent duo of “Hall of Mirrors and “The Burden Noose”, even if they are all too shortlived. But these moments do add a nice dichotomy to the huge, crumbling riffs and introspective moments (i.e.”Endless Blockade”). There is also a couple of well-placed female vocal/spoken injections (“Hall of Mirrors”, “Safta”) from local artist Shira van der Wouden, adding some emotional gravitas to the tumbling throes, again imbuing a little Fall of Efrafa. 

Everything sounds absolutely massive with a recording from Tim de Gieter  (Amenra) and master from Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Downfall of Gaia- also a solid reference point for some of the music on The Burden). And I’m enjoying this way more than last year’s Diorama from countrymates MØL, on a much bigger label.  And it’s one of the better releases in this hybrid style I’ve heard recently, though not the Fall of Efrafa replacement I was truly hoping for.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 4th, 2023

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