It’s Monday and Mondays suck, so let’s grind it out with a full album stream of Bridge Burner’s Disempath.
A quick reminder to you kind folk that next Sunday is national Black Metal Day. I am hereby dubbing every Easter that for those of us that feel like having a laugh and an excuse to blast metal obnoxiously. Though blasting does tie into today’s column, as does it every time I write about grind or grind adjacent genres for the Monday Grind. Come for the grind-adjacent, stay for the blast beats. That is the reason for every season.
And today we have blast abusers Bridge Burner. Hailing out of Auckland, New Zealand, Bridge Burner play a mixture of grind and death metal with a crispy, crusty edge. Perhaps leaning a little more into the death metal side of things than the grind, the band no doubt mixes both genres very well. Featuring past and current members of bands like Ulcerate, In Dread Response, Setentia, and many more. Bridge Burner is something of a fusion of bands like Trap Them, Disfear, and Misery Index. Filthy, raging, melodic, and heavy as hell.
The two key takeaways from Disempath are that is feels as melodic as it does blasting. Bridge Burner really do take the time to flesh out their sound and give us speed and melody. But throughout all of that, we are also left with rage and disgust. No matter the song, no matter the sound the band is emitting, the music is always angry. A perfect contrast of this comes mid-album when the song “Nausea, and the End of Everything” hits. It is an incredibly melodic song with plenty of progressions. On the other side of the extreme comes “Anodyne Existence” immediately afterwards. The track is a total desperate rager that breaks down towards the end but is through and through a relentless knife attack.
Balance really is the name of the game here. One cannot really call this “deathgrind” for two reasons: the album evokes hardcore/punk and even some post/hardcore often, and the other being it is not a brutalizing record, see: “Dull Knives to Deaf Ears”. Now if you showed up to Bridge Burner show, the pit would be brutalizing, but there are not many sections of death morphing into grind or vice versa. And that is not a bad thing. Bridge Burner very much evokes the desperate sound that Disfear channeled effortlessly. Songs often sound like a call to come running.
From Ben Reed (vocalist):
Disempath is a genuine representation of the disgust and nausea we feel after living through 2020. Heartsick at how selfish and deluded humanity can be. One salvageable thing from this time has been us finding our sound in Disempath. As a group we have broad tastes in terms of extreme and heavy music, and I feel it has produced an interesting blend with all members contributing to the writing process.
Disempath is by far our most coherent and venomous and we can't wait to finally get it out there.
No doubt, that the band has mixed a lot of personal influences into this record. From the opening track “Separating Hand From Wrist” the channeling of influences is very clear. The track opens like a hardcore track before embracing a heavy grind influence. It is a very punk start to the record with even some death/thrash thrown in for good measure. And following that the band dips its feet straight into death metal territory on “Disempath.”
The record is a lot of things that come together effortlessly. If you enjoy any of the aforementioned genres, then Bridge Burner has a record for you. Crust, grindcore, hardcore, post-hardcore, death metal, it is all here in spades. Relentless, desperate, and utterly pissed. Get grinding on this!
Cover art by Mark Tumaru
Promo photo by Jolene Weenink
Label: Hibernation Release
Order link: https://hibernation-release.