Upon a Burning Body have southern grooves splattered all over their sound. This is no bad thing, they take influence from Pantera and Lamb of God but incorporate their own distinctive sound. Their new album ‘Southern Hostility’ is big, beefy, and in your face. It’s incredible how much they’ve developed their sound because this is one of the best metal releases you’re going to hear in 2019.
There are so many tasty riffs on here, but there is also a strong ear for melody. An example is on ‘King of Diamonds’, it has an unbelievably catchy riff and the chorus will stay in your head. It’s fast and feels like a spin kick to the face. The thrash-influenced solos are refreshing as hell.
The guitars on this album are pushed high into the mix. It creates a sound that is perfect to flail your arms around in the pit, with a groovy bounce. But what stands out is that there are some solos on here that even Dimebag Darrell would have been proud of, showing a sound the band are comfortable with. ‘The Champ Is Coming’ has a bruising guitar riff, but if there’s one criticism. The lyrics in the chorus are a bit cringeworthy: ‘You better start running, because the champ is coming for you.’ The way the lead and rhythm guitars come together in the solo make up for it, showing tight chemistry.
The riffs on this album are going to pump you up, as is the crushing beatdown on ‘Burn.’ Danny Leal’s false chord vocals offer something refreshing and energising. ‘The Anthem of the Doomed’ is more experimental, showing off Leal’s impressive vocal range and some deathcore-influenced chugs, while the final track, ‘Soul Searcher’, has a beautiful clean riff in its bridge. The vocals in the chorus are mixed to perfection, and the album is over in half an hour.
With a bunch of upbeat riffs, Upon a Burning body are back, and ready to take on the world. ‘Southern Hostility’ is an album that shows they mean business, with riffs that will melt your face off.
Words by Ermis Madikopoulos