Burden of Grief: Fields of Salvation

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Burden of Grief: Fields of Salvation
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Burden of Grief: Fields of Salvation
Melodic Death Metal
Remedy Records
January 26th, 2004
Release length: 39:50
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Burden of Grief is a German Melodic Death Metal act, and is really one of Metal best kept secrets outside of that region. Here in the States, only one album managed to claw it’s way over, and that would be this one: Fields of Salvation. Unfortunately, this release was never really pushed and plenty of Metal fans wound up missing out back then. If you did, or this band is new to you, take comfort that even all these years later, Fields of Salvation is still as good an album as it could possibly be.

The sound that is played here seems to actually border a mixture of the speed and intensity of Thrash, as much as the hooks are pivotol to the Melodic Death aspect of the release. Honestly, when you pop in Fields of Salvation your first time, the song “Desaster and Decay” hits you in a way to make you think this actually is a Thrash act, until the heavily Melodic chorus kicks in with simplistic lyrics that work with the creative environment the vocalist manages to pull off perfectly with his rhaspy screaming style. Sadly, there aren’t many tracks on this release that share that same intensity, with the closest being “Don’t Fear the Creeper” at the end, the catchiest song off the whole album that was clearly inspired by the Jeepers Creepers film and not just a play on words of cover of the Blue Oyster Cult song “Don’t Fear The Reaper”. That being said, there’s still enough good Metal on this release to keep you listening due to how well composed the songs are, even if the band’s sound on this release isn’t too unique.

There are many times on this release you are going to expect singing, but it seems to never come. Thanks to the heaviness of the songs and the speed they are played, any slowing for singing would be a bit too much. The closest you get to this is the second song in, “Dead Soul Decline”, which the music slows down with the speed kept by the cymbols mostly and the words are harshly whispered and spoken in the background against some additional keyboards. This little break that appears twice, typically before the chorus, does at least add a little more variety to the music, but at the same time kind of impacts the track negatively as it honestly serves no real purpose and just feels tacked on in an effort to stay true to the Melodic Death Metal fans that crave something “creative” in their Metal. As for the variety of the album, there’s plenty to go around, another reason those two sections were absolutely unnecessary. Take “Engaged With Destiny” for example. The song is a much slower track with some great drumming to keep up the flow when the guitars go into a fade effect and play simple chords for ambience. The double bass keeps the speed going through most of the songs but there’s plenty of melodic moments, including what sounds like the bridge that sounds more like a breakdown near the end before the last chorus chimes in.

The only real gripe about this CD would fall with the title track, “Fields of Salvation”. This instrumental is a good composition, but it feels a little odd where it is placed, being right in the middle of the release. One could say it acts as an intermission to the album, but it honestly just feels like it would have been better suited right before “Don’t Fear the Creeper” then right in the middle of the album. The drum roll that starts the song is a bit iffy, but it doesn’t really hurt the song overall. Other then that, there’s nothing else here that really isn’t good about the album outside of some tracks just not being as impressive as others. “The Silent Killing”, for example, cannot compare to the openning track “Desaster and Decay”, and “Don’t Fear the Creeper” is a lot more enjoyable to listen to then “Slowly Pass Out”. While these aren’t really filler songs, they stand well on their own, but could have been a little better for this album and eventually will wind up starting to bore you the more you go through the album and pick up on them.

In the end, Fields of Salvation‘s only real flaw is a misplaced instrumental track, and that’s something that listeners can fix on their own with computers these days. Burden of Grief have composed a very impressive Melodic Death Metal album with Fields of Salvation that is loaded with plenty of tracks that will leave you coming back for more. However, not all the tracks on here are superb and chances are good after a good amount of listens that some of the slower tracks on here will start to bore you a bit, but rest assured those are few and far between, leaving you with a lot of great material here that will push the extra mile for your money.

01. Desaster and Decay – 4:39
02. Dead Soul Decline – 4:25
03. The Nightmare Within – 3:57
04. Engaged With Destiny – 4:18
05. Fields of Salvation – 4:06
06. Slowly Pass Out – 4:19
07. Yearning for Salvation – 5:30
08. The Silent Killing – 4:09
09. Don’t Fear the Creeper – 4:27

Overall Score: 7/10
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Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.