Art Of Burning Water
Living If For Giving, Dying Is For Getting CD/LP

1. No Day Is Tragedy Free
2. You Get What You're Given
3. Happiness Always Ends In Tears
4. At The Hands Of Them
5. Feast Of Testicles
6. Snake State Nausea
7. It Will All Make Sense When We're Dead
8. December 14th 1990 (Sadness Begins)
9. Great British Hope Destroyer
10. How To Be A Worrier

Art Of Burning Water refuse to die despite being one of the most frowned upon bunch of noise making twats of the past 10 years. There is no machine behind this band and the UK 'underground' rock circle jerk has never approved them or championed them and they do not have friends in high places but do have high friends. You won't be told to check them out and they will not be seen high fiving the correct people in the correct places in order to further their way up festival bills with the correct bands. Art Of Burning Water are outsiders in the truest sense of the word and very proud to stand outside the circle of your love. Art Of Burning Water are a steroided immigrant noise punk outfit that does not need to be loved to live. Art Of Burning Water love what they do and therefore need not be loved for what they do. This is strong music by weak people. For fans of: Keelhaul, Rorschach, Voivod, Amebix, Godflesh and Motorhead.

Release date 15/11/14.

Co-released with Riot Season.

Ltd. to 300 copies on black.

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

Echoes And Dust
Three years ago to the day, I caught London’s Art Of Burning Water supporting Conan at the Unicorn, although I wasn’t won over. Watching the semi-veterans unravelling their complex sludge tangle felt like encountering someone easily solving a cryptic crossword – impressive, for sure, but inexplicably contemptible. I’ve since ditched my luddite fear of technical ability, thankfully in time to really get down with the band’s fifth full length due out in October on Riot Season.
Living is For Giving, Dying Is For Getting sees the band cornering noise rock and forcing in to brawl, harnessing the power of the almighty lurch. At every available opportunity, Art Of Burning Water deploy refracted and inverted riffs that squirm along to the type of miniscule pedantic grooves which only really make sense to the band themselves, but are fascinating enough to consent to. Unhinged hardcore along the lines of Cold Sweat and Leeds’ Mob Rules bleeds in to tracks like ‘Happiness Always Ends In Tears’ and ‘Snake State Nausea’, and the way they execute it aligns them somewhere near the sound of rural bruisers Meadows, but they are indisputably following their own path.
Huge, slaloming chunks of metallic mass and pistoning atonal bass algorithms knock the wind out of you time and time again throughout – the sheer amount of heave ’n’ crush in ‘December 14th 1990 (Sadness Begins)’ even providing healthy competition for Magrudergrind’s ‘Bridge Burner’ – and although amusingly indecipherable during the last mentioned track (shrieking plus reverb sounds an awful lot like the wind…), the vocals are convincing, hateful and overblown from start to finish. Living Is For Giving, Dying Is For Getting doesn’t always have much of a sense of adhesion, however, nor much purpose. You have the feeling that if they wanted to go heavier, they could with little fuss; stranger, faster, slower all seem within their range too (Norway’s Staer being a good example of pushing it to the limit). Tracks on the recent Isolation Tank split and The World Is Yours compilation suggested a few differing types of sounds too, but they don’t get aired here.
Ah well, even if Art Of Burning Water don’t present themselves for immediate consumption and inspection, there’s an obstinate willingness to invent and entertain within them, which overrides that all, and highlights them as one of the most valuable and formidable bands in the pleasantly swelling UK underground right now.

Metal Ireland
The term “imperial phase” isn’t used as often as it should, and for good reason. Often credited for coining the term, Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys described it as a phrase to describe whenever a band/artist seemingly gets everything right in an manner that can be described as effortless. Of course, he was using it as a metaphor for pop stars who became all-conquering, world-beating with singles that became hits, often regardless of merit, and sometimes without much effort. Obviously, the latter interpretation doesn’t work when it comes to the underground. But the notion of “effortlessly achieving” is still applicable. I’m sure we all hold opinions of certain band’s outputs (I’m sure His Editorialness will argue that Death’s imperial phase lasted from ‘Death by Metal’ until Chuck’s death, but that’s a rare case), but how many bands have had a period where everything they touch is golden (from the songs, right down to the playing, production, artwork)? Not as many as you’d like there to be. Usually, there’s something holding it back, whether that’s the production making the drums sound like coconuts, or maybe there’s one dud on the track listing. It’s a delight for me to confirm that ‘Living is for Giving…’ continues Art of Burning Water’s imperial phase. One that started with their second LP, 2010’s ‘Head of the Tempest’. They’ve never been given a great amount of attention, despite the quality of their releases and the barrage of noise that they bombard you with at their gigs. But they’re quite happy with that. In their own words, there is “…no machine behind this band and the UK ‘underground’ rock circle jerk has never approved them or championed then… Art of Burning Water are outsiders in the truest sense of the word…” ‘No Day is Tragedy Free’ is just such a great title that you’re afraid that the music will let it down, but it doesn’t. A beautifully sludgy rhythm section, foul and depraved vocals all played at midtempo soundtrack the daily grind perfectly. The few seconds of feedback as the track comes to a close is a little preparation for the listener. ‘You Get What You’re Given’ mixes the epic feel of Amebix and the disgust of hardcore in a blender and comes out with this gem. The transition from epic riffing into headbanging doom towards the end is sublime. And then goes back into hardcore. Not big, not clever, but exhilarating. ‘Happiness Always Ends in Tears’ kicks off with a bassline not far removed from fellow hardcore/noisemakers Comply or Die. Grief’s heavily distorted vocals really make this song, giving it more intensity and works perfectly when the music begins to go into a slower, headbanging groove. ‘Snake State Nausea’ features another lovely change from progressive sludge into depraved hardcore. Although only 1:28 long, it’s a track that would test the tightness of a live act, as the changes are more abrupt than what you normally expect. ‘It Will All Make Sense When We’re Dead’ sees drummer Mike indulging in some d-beat action before Greif and bassist Kunal add their tuppence worth. This track in particular is utterly relentless. The breakdown around the 1:04 allows for some breathing, before going into a kind of Voivod/Keelhaul riff. It finished with Mike doing a small drum roll. Closer ‘How To Be a Worrier’ could maybe do with being just a little noisier, but finishes the album in suitably irreverent and discordant form. You feel empty when the album ends, as you’ve been thrown back into reality. Simply put, this is a brilliant album filled with brilliant songs about how awful modern life is. The production buries most of the instrumentation, which gives the record a more claustrophobic atmosphere then some of their earlier works. The cover is stark and quite poignant (is it meant to be a young Grief being warned about the dangers of the world that would influence his vocals?) There is nothing bad about this record at all. Long may this imperial phase continue.

Right, nepotistic disclaimer. I asked the label for this record to review, I'm a fan, so you're getting a fan review here. AOBW have been round long enough to know better. If you're reading a site like this you've seen them take skin from twenty paces in the back room of a pub outside the centre of some city or town. If not, just click on that track below and you'll know where you are. UK DIY band, on the floor. Somewhere between hardcore and metal, there're nods to the old and to the new. They've got a really fuckin' excellent grip on how and why parts of modern life are crap. AOBW have taken hold of the object, had a real good look at it and made their minds up. It's worse, and it doesn't have to be like this. The production is fierce, it's not what you'd classically call good, but who wants that. Everything's on top of everything else. The drumming is neck aching lesson in the balance of technical proficiency and abandon. What the strings lack in strict tightness just adds to the careening nature of Living Is For Giving. Tunes aren't been drawn out of the wood and steel here, they're physically forced out through a hole just slightly to small. AOBW have done here what they've done many times before, released a fantastic record. They've always been a band that makes me want to kick shit over, and once again that chair is most definitely going out the window. You ain't going to make love to this record, but maybe you'll fuck good.

Rock A Rolla
Stuffed to the gills with hack ‘n’ slash grindcore madness, this vicious slab of vinyl is a caustic reintroduction to one of the UK underground’s most vituperative bands. Leaning hard on a pristine yet gouging production sound, “Living Is For Giving...” is a nineteen minute blast of contempt, fashioning guttural stomping riffs into incisive blade-like implements. A singular strain of black humour pervades dark witted track titles such as “No Day Is Tragedy Free” and “It Will All Make Sense When we're Dead”, pouring even more fuel on the chaos contained within. It is nothing less than a sonic monstering.

I’m not entirely sure how or why I thought The Art of Burning Water were some kind of quirky indie band, until I came across them a few years back. Since this point, I have come to associate them with bands such as Palehorse and the Afternoon Gentleman, and whilst different to the utter misery of the former and raging grind of the latter, they are definitely pushing their own kind of extremity. Which brings us nicely to their latest; ‘Living is for giving, Dying is For Getting.’ After a brief sample ‘No Day Is Tragedy Free’ drags itself along in reluctant malice with white noise screams searing over the top and then, without warning they blast into the hyper punk of ‘You get what you’re given.’ It’s pretty clear that accessibility is not much of a priority, there is no feeling that they are making music for anyone other than themselves and as a result they go wherever they please and make a brutal but intelligent racket in the process.
Sonically they fall somewhere between Knut and various grind / noisecore bands, although there are some (relatively) straight up and memorable riffs to be found in the likes of ‘At the hands of them.’ and ‘It will all make sense when we’re dead’, which makes a good contrast and holds your attention without becoming monotonous. There is some interesting times signatures and clever flips in rhythm in the middle of “It will all make sense when we’re dead” and genuinely sinister chord progressions in “Snake state nausea” add variety and make for a listen that seems more progressive and intriguing on each listen.
At the time of writing there are still new elements coming to light which highlight how much thought has been put into the record. The playing is impeccable, well planned and clearly they are all masters of their respective instruments.
The vocals are never anything less than all out fury and desperation. Serving almost as the proverbial nails down the board in the background, it’s as if they are there purely to be unpleasant for the sake of it (which by the way is meant as a compliment). The riffs and aforementioned dynamics and technical changes carry the overall sound and for me are what form the songs, rather than relying on standard structure / verse / chorus.
If you’re looking for pure nihilism and fury and an example of a band pushing themselves to the extreme, with no regard for others opinion and with the intention of making a hideous racket, then look no further. At 20 minutes long it’s a little brief, but needs to be no longer. This is a crushing work of utter despondency which I can’t recommend enough. Reference points; - Knut, Ken Mode, Eyehategod

Des Cendres A La Cave
Cinquième album déjà. Le groupe reste ce qu'il est. Art Of Burning Water c'est moche, dégénéré, ça sent mauvais et c'est approximatif. Et puis, c'est lourd aussi, ça empile les couches dégueulasses les unes sur les autres pour obstruer les capillaires et ça vise l’asphyxie. Et d'ailleurs, souvent ça l'atteint. Art Of Burning Water, ça va vite également. Rythmique marteau-pilon, voix d'hyène en rut, riffs qui giclent à la vitesse de l'éclair, l'un chassant immédiatement l'autre. Mais ça peut aussi être très lent et souvent, l'immobilité arrive sans crier gare, comme ça, en plein milieu d'un morceau par ailleurs jusqu'au-boutiste et violent. Et enfin, c'est assez monolithique. Bien plus ici que sur This Disgrace, leur précédent méfait de 2013. La faute sans doute à une production légèrement plus étouffée et à une série de morceaux en ouverture faussement gémellaires qui voient le groupe littéralement nous marcher dessus. Comme une cohorte d'éléphants obèses labourant l'épiderme. On a un peu l'impression que le disque lui-même se recroqueville sous son propre poids, que les sons tentent désespérément de s'échapper des enceintes pour inhaler un peu d'air ou y flotter simplement mais que la force centripète annule puis atomise la centrifuge. La musique retourne alors d'où elle était venue, réintègre le disque et s'écroule sous sa masse. Et puis tout ce qu'il y a autour fait de même : vous, les meubles, les murs et pour finir, la Terre entière. Un Big Bang à l'envers. Ajoutons à cela que le propos est majoritairement torturé, voire complètement désespéré et qu'il multiplie les araignées dans la tête. C'est tout le temps haineux et crispé, ça ne rigole jamais et ça vous fait ravaler fissa la moindre lueur d'espoir et vous abandonne là, dans des îlots de résignation et de haine de soi. Pas vraiment glamour, encore moins sexy. En reprenant les choses là où le précédent les avait laissées, Living Is For Giving, Dying Is For Getting rappelle fort justement en quoi Art Of Burning Water est un groupe formidable. Tout y est tellement prototypique. En mélangeant ainsi finement une tonne d'éléments pas drôles et malfaisants - hardcore épileptique, metal navrant et noise hargneuse, glacis industriel et énergie punk - le groupe circonscrit les règles de l'Art et met à jour rien de moins qu'une dialectique. Un disque que l'on pourra utiliser pour expliquer la guerre aux enfants ou montrer en quoi la violence, vraiment, tu vois, c'est moche.
La basse balance des algorithmes définitifs, martèle la pulsation dans une répétition pas claire ou au contraire, change d'embranchement toutes les trois secondes. On ne sait pas trop si elle impulse ou si elle suit. La guitare fait de même et administre un nombre impressionnant de riffs alambiqués : hachés menus ou massifs, découpés à la truelle ou finement ciselés, l'éventail ainsi mis sur pied est assez ahurissant. La batterie n'est évidemment pas en reste et on souffre pour le kit en permanence en se disant qu'il ne doit pas en rester grand chose à la fin de chaque morceau (ce que semble confirmer cette mignonne vidéo). Et puis, là-dessus viennent se greffer un nombre assez important de samples et de bruits captés ici et là qui, loin d'aérer le propos, le maintiennent plutôt fermement la tête sous l'eau. Et enfin, c'est au tour de la... euh, voix ? Si on peut appeler comme ça ces cris vicelards qui ont plus à voir avec un porc que l'on égorge qu'avec un être humain. En retrait, en permanence exagérée, elle recouvre l'ensemble d'une laitance démoniaque qui affermit encore plus le ciment grossier qui se tient en-dessous. Les bases sont posées et l'on pourrait croire que le tout manque de nuances. Il n'en est rien. On a même du mal à croire le nombre effarant de possibilités que permet l'attirail plutôt basique susmentionné. En dehors de l'atmosphère extrêmement noire et violente, peu de points communs entre un It Will All Make Sense When We're Dead et un December 14th 1990 (Sadness Begins) qui le suit immédiatement par exemple : d'un côté quelque chose qui file à la vitesse de l'éclair, brise son hardcore contre des cathédrales de noise furibarde, de l'autre un bout de metal déviant lourd (très) et martial (beaucoup aussi) qui explose par à-coups et use d'une répétition forcenée. Art Of Burning Water explore consciencieusement le spectre de l'agression et se montre particulièrement exhaustif à ce petit jeu-là. On y entend des bribes d'Amebix, de Keelhaul ou de Converge, quelques accointances avec le dégénéré Temple Of The Morning Star de Today Is The Day pour l'odeur de soufre, un peu de Motörhead aussi et surtout, évidemment, sans l'ombre d'un doute, du Art Of Burning Water. Alors bien sûr, on pourra regretter que le trio n'aille pas voir ailleurs de temps en temps, d'autant plus que leur participation à The World Is Yours, compilation gargantuesque-hommage à Peter Kemp, laissait entendre un morceau un peu différent, un peu plus posé aux entournures, avec, enfin, une voix intelligible et en avant. Mais, chassez le naturel... Et puis on semble faire la fine bouche mais il n'en est rien, Living Is For Giving, Dying Is For Getting se montrant au final tout aussi impressionnant que This Disgrace.
"Art Of Burning Water love what they do and therefore need not to be loved for what they do" avance le communiqué du label. Avec de tels blocs intransigeants, on ne saurait mieux dire. Pourtant, il s'avère difficile d'aller dans leur sens. Art Of Burning Water n'aiment peut-être pas qu'on les aime mais on les aime précisément pour ça. Et parce que l'on se dit en permanence que ces trois Anglais-là peuvent tout faire, varier les attaques, explorer la vitesse autant que le ralentissement, aller au fin fond du fin fond de l'aliénation et de la férocité.
Intraitable et dégueulasse, on aura rarement entendu plus implacable cette année.