Well, fucking all right. Burnt by the Sun has made a CD with “Ancient” written all over it and I get to review it. Kismet? Fate? Destiny? I suppose it’s for greater minds than I to decide. What I can say for certain is this CD has made me quite happy. We talk of MetalCore, which is meant to represent the blending of hardcore and metal in some way or other. Yet the music I have pumping through my headphones this snowy November afternoon strikes me as a true joining of these two styles more than some of the bands one normally associates with the form. BBTS seems to enjoy expanding an odd riff into something majestic and revolting at the same time. Each team member builds on the dissonant framework until the resulting structure is almost hypnotic as you try to decide how it all holds together. Classic roaring HC vocal veneers add the finishing touch. But the real attraction may be that, like label mates Mastodon, there are genuinely haunting, melodic moments throughout this disc, adding a depth that some other bands that tread this path seem to lack. The production is just about perfect for this kind of band – powerful yet dirty. It maintains the edge a band like this needs to keep things feeling honest. The guitars are caustic and corrosive rather than meaty. The rhythm section has the low end all to itself giving the record that violently unkempt sound you could get from the better hardcore records. All in all it leaves the mass in the hands of the band instead of an engineer. In the area of musicianship the band probably isn’t winning any awards for technique or innovation, but they are all more than competent and the love of the game shines through their respective playing. It has that jagged, edgy feel of a live performance, which lends yet another layer of fire to the CD. Bottom Line: The way the band spins metal tinged post-hardcore seems truer to the spirit of both genres than you find on many other “MetalCore” records. While the vocal ferocity never lets up, the band is not afraid to explore the songs and bring out some interesting changeups. I am going to listen to this again.