Deathcore act Upon A Burning Body were a band that flew pretty far under my radar for a long time. Despite hearing their name thrown around from numerous sites and seeing them billed on successful tours, I never got around to picking up anything from their discography. From their latest release Straight From The Barrio I now see just how much I was missing out on.
The album starts on a strong note through the track "'Til The Break Of Dawn", with spanish-infused guitars blending surprisingly well with traditional hardcore elements and some of the strongest screams I've heard in the genre. The lyrics are fairly bland and par for the course in a hardcore party song, but this doesn't detract from the raw energy the band emits.
Luckily, that's a sentiment that can be shared with virtually every track on the album. The production is top notch, highlighting the masterful guitar work and vocals, opting to push the drums more towards the back, though not so far back that you forget they exist.
Throughout the album, this band doesn't really add much to the social or political commentary of today, but then again they never tried to portray themselves as a group who would. The rare times the band decides to utilize clean vocals on tracks like "Already Broken" and "Leave The Pain Behind", they truly shine and manage to stand out among a highly populated crowd. These are the moments when they feel the most genuine and vulnerable, combining haunting and anger-fuelled vocal lines with blistering breakdowns.
Overall, I'd recommend this album to fans of the genre. I wouldn't suggest showing it to anyone outside of the fanbase unless your end goal is to get a horrified or confused look or two. This album doesn't break new ground and won't convert anyone who isn't already open to their harsh style of music, but Straight From The Barrio is sure to bring a smile to any hardcore or deathcore fan's face.
Upon a Burning Body – Straight from the Barrio Album Info
Straight From The Barrio is available for purchase now and is also streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. Catch Upon A Burning Body on the Sumerian Records 10 Years In The Black Tour with Asking Alexandria, Born Of Osiris, I See Stars, After The Burial, and Bad Omens now through 11/21.
Written by Mike Casselman.