Release Date: February 24, 2004
Reviewed by Scott Olivenbaum
Sweden’s Blindside were on the front line of the wave of emocore that swept the music industry at the turn of the century. After two abrasive full-length albums had gained them an underground following, Blindside capitalized on the success of emotion-filled post hardcore and the polished Silence made its way into the mainstream in 2002.
Coming up with a follow up for a successful album is hard on any band, and Blindside certainly did their best with About A Burning Fire. While not as remarkable as their previous releases, the new disc continues down the same path set forth by Silence (the band that released A Thought Crushed My Mind is gone). Chock full of hectic passion-filled screams interspaced with softer, reflective singing, About A Burning Fire shows how deeply the Deftones influenced modern music.
Blindside managed to keep the same balance of aggression and melody that they had on Silence, but the new release just doesn’t have the same memorable hooks or tracks. Songs often blend into one another without distinguishing themselves in any particular manner. A few songs do stand out, for better and worse. The better are “Die Buying”, “Roads” and “Where the Sun Never Dies” – tracks that capture the emotions Blindside captured so well on Silence. The worse is “Hooray, It’s L.A.”, a disjointed rock track that doesn’t quite fit in the flow of the album featuring The Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan (who will always be known as that guy from The Smashing Pumpkins).
What it all comes down to is that About A Burning Fire is an above-par album for the emocore genre but a let down after Blindside’s previous success.