As obvious as it may be, with a name like She Must Burn and with a style defined as “blackened metalcore,” you pretty know what you’re letting in for with this self-titled debut effort. Crunching guitars, visceral growls, symphonic keys and rapid drums are the order of the day for She Must Burn.
Straight from the instrumental intro track, ‘Ascension’, the five-piece produce an overwhelming sense of dark grandeur that erupts with ‘Possessed’. Joseph Louis Sinclair’s growls dominate alongside blast beats and thrash guitars before the angelic tones of keyboardist Aimy Miller brings some form of calm to the madness.
Don’t be misled. She Must Burn aren’t another run-of-the-mill metalcore band with a “darkened” gimmick. On ‘The Misery’, the introduction of symphonic elements adds another layer to the over-bearing thrash blasts, whilst Sinclair’s raspy roars merely add to the bands intensity.
Whereas ‘Into Light’, the possible EP highlight, sees the aforementioned Aimy Miller truly shine as they venture towards a near ballad-like tone. Glistening keys compliment her sweet, confident voice with power chords and epic drums adding that special something to the all to brief track. However the following ‘Wish To Exist’ barges in with pummelling drums and scaling guitars. With a style that is reminiscent of Bleeding Through, ‘Wish To Exist’ outstays its messy welcome by trying to embrace too much.
By the time you reach ‘Eclipse’, it is clear She Must Burn have ran out of ideas. However the ideas they do have are used effectively. Sure, the whole thrash metalcore sound comes off as pretty messy. Yet there are moments of promise throughout. The instrumentation is, for the most part, tight and have direction and Miller’s enchanting voice is a shining light amongst the black metalcore output.
Whilst it may not be best to judge a book by its cover, She Must Burn just about abandoned that theory with a powerful debut that knows its place yet attempts to impress by producing a layered sound that isn’t entirely effective.
‘She Must Burn’ EP by She Must Burn is out now on Ghost Music.
Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)