Art Of Burning Water
Love You Dead LP

1. Hoglan
2. Oh My Days
3. Spiros Arion
4. Husker Du Happiness?
5. Only Choking
6. Tapdancing On Landmines
7. Whitman, Price And Haddad
8. Nicaragua

Art Of Burning Water were born out of the ‘white flats’ of Hanwell (W7) and the pre-gentrified homes of Hammersmith (W6) in West London in 2001. The sound of suburban alienation and misfit isolation forged an awkward visceral sound that was too punk for the metallers, too noisy for the arthouse crowd and too weird for seemingly everyone else. AOBW continue to plough their own furrow despite personal injury and often chronic disorganisation. with self-promotion taking a back seat to the importance of sound creation to combat the often ugly hardships of everyday living.
Like Slayer gone sludge, AOBW channel the prime noise-rock of vintage Zeni Geva and Godflesh with the more complex rhythmical riff obsessions of the Melvins, Keelhaul and mid-period Voivod. In saying that however, AOBW also adhere to the original punk philosophy of ‘anything goes’. There are no restrictions. Punk isn’t about Discharge (as good as they were and are), studded belts and crusty bum flaps. Punk is the heart to tell the narrow minded to get fucked.
“Love You Dead” is their third album and has a more spontaneous, deranged writing approach compared to earlier releases. It is finally on vinyl having been out as a limited CD thanks to Swarm Of Nails Records out of France.

Released 01/10/12.


Co-released with:
Swarm Of Nails

Ltd. to 272 copies on black.

Art by Scott Shellhammer.

Art Of Burning Water | Geith, Mike, Steve | Bandcamp | Facebook

If I'd never met the lovely men from Art of Burning Water, I'd be genuinely afraid to. I know that in person they're quiet, friendly and laid back to the point of being horizontal, but if you ever hear their records they sound absolutely terrifying. Huge riffs rain down and then shift before you've had chance to wrap your head around them. The vocals could have been lifted from a black metal album but without any apparent self control. The lyrics are of course incomprehensible. The production doesn't 'help' make sense of any of it. Everything is separated and sits very nicely if you listen to it properly but the vocals are mixed very low and frequently distorted, occasionally popping out from their competition with the cymbals and high end to berate you for something. I'm not sure what, but they sound angry so just nod and go along with it. The band describe themselves as "a wall of noise made of energy and screams'. I'd have gone with "'Reign in Blood' era Slayer playing sludge". Both should give you a decent idea of what to expect. A common problem with bands who play this fast and aggressive (and yes, they can pull it off live) is that they can quickly outstay their welcome. My attention span for super fast technical music is oddly low considering everything that's going on musically vying for the listeners ear, but AoBW keep their songs short for the most part. With the exception of 11 minute closer 'Nicaragua', 4 of the remaining tracks clock in at under 2 minutes 30 so if there's a danger you might get bored or find your attention wandering, you probably won't get the chance. If you're thinking this sounds good to you but aren't quite sold, check out 'Only Choking' on their bandcamp page. If you make it all the way through and you're not throwing devil horns, headbanging and fighting the urge to run into your housemates room and start a 2 person circle pit, a mere review can't help you. Apart from the previously mentioned 'Nicaragua' which is a little overlong, 'Love You Dead' demands your attention from start to finish. Like it? I bought it. I suggest you all do the same.

Raw Nerve
Art of Burning Water have been around since 2001, and you, the general public will probably have never heard of them, more fool you I say. That's not to say they're not a recognised name, or their output has been weak, stunted or not promoted, but they just seem to be a band that's never really firmly placed their name into something more of a mainstream light. Those who know and have witnessed this lot live know exactly how destructive and intense their sound and style is, and 'Love You Dead' most definitely manages to recreate that in your ears. A major pointer for their sound is Today Is The Day, with the seething, high pitched wails and the lurking, discordant, twisting riffs bringing to mind the warped melodies that Mr Austin emits. They don't rely on influences shining through though, to be honest, as Art Of Burning Water have very much their own unique horror occurring, and it is well worth the time and the heartache it'll take to survive their recordings. This is by no means easy listening, but it's bloody immense. By the time you get to the monumental, soul crushing closer 'Nicaragua' I guarantee you will be 100% sold on this band.

This Noise Is Ours
As I get myself in order and find a true writing rhythm, I'm at the point where I'm attacking music hidden within my inbox. The first of those hidden gems is the eight track LP Love You Dead, from London noisemakers Art of Burning Water. The record was released on vinyl by AOBW member Kunal Nandi's label SuperFi Records as well on CD by Swarm of Nails. I remember coming across AOBW after reading a review of their 3-way spilt released with American Heritage and Foe, so god only knows why it's taken me so long to get round to writing about this record. Art Of Burning Water sound frightening. Opening with Hoglan, they spit out a grind/sludge/metal amalgamation with vocals, which seems all over the place. I don't even know how to describe the screams! They're groovy though, with hints of stoner in their riffs. They prefer drawn-out instrumental passages, like at the start of Oh My Days. The drums and the bass contribute to a brutal low-end and the guitars aren't tuned much higher either. You won't find many screeching leads during these opening songs. You will find mind-bending time signatures and a band that just do their own thing. The vocals sit very much in the middle of the mix, especially in songs like Spiros Arion, where the guitars seem quite atonal at times. There are hints of straight-up metal buried in their music though. AOBW seem to be as comfortable grooving as they do smashing you over the head with their crazed noise. They've also clearly got a sense of humour, if song-titles like Husker Du Happiness? and Only Choking are anything to go by. The former is a fifty-three second wall of grinding menace while the latter is equally as terrifying. It's almost as if they split one song into two here, because they were scared that it would have been too much for people. As that huge breakdown appears towards the end, all I can do is grin from ear to ear! So far, so quick! With the exception of Oh My Days, no song has broken through the three-minute mark. Tapdancing on Landmines keeps the pace fast and fraught. The subtle textures that you can pick on multiple listens will surely keep you coming back to this record. It's only when Whitman, Price and Haddad ring’s out that things start to slow down. The riffs are bruising and sludgy as hell. It's definitely one of the most punishing numbers on Love You Dead, proving that you don't necessarily needs grinding madness and hard-to-pin-down time signatures to make your listeners head fall off. As Nicaragua begins, you feel like the preceding songs have been but a mere build up to what is the final hammer blow, all eleven minutes of it! The chugging riffs and powerful drums provide a build up, which seems like the calm before the storm. Occasional glimpses of sick sludge-influenced jazz guitar peeps through before what can only be described as utter chaos. There may be more of a focus on the instrumentation on Love you Dead, but when it's this powerful why spoil it. The vocals add to the maddening intensity and that feedback six-minutes in will have cowering on the ground. The feeling of brief calm lasts but seconds before another thick, tar like passage fills your ears, as the song lurches it's way to an inevitable end. You can shove whatever genre terms you want into a review, but you will never come close to describing fully what AOBW sound like. I'm just going to settle on the term mind-blowing. Do not do what I did. Don't let Art Of Burning Water pass you by. Listen to the whole of Love You Dead as well the rest of their discography on their bandcamp page.