Left Behind’s new album, Blessed by the Burn, is a masterpiece of emotionally brutal hardcore music. It’s dark and it has a bitter edge to it, but it’s hardly mindless. It’s almost surprisingly melodic at times, and there’s a dark but stirring story told throughout the album. Thematically, the album often returns to the theme of being “blessed by the burn,” and that really makes the album feel remarkably cohesive. In the world of hardcore music, the dark narrative line helps Blessed by the Burn stand out and make you want to listen to it over and over again, although it is rather engaging music. In other words, it would probably be hard to just leave this on in the background – it is 100% the stuff you throw down to.
The album starts out with a mostly instrumental track that establishes the band’s brutality. Going on from there, the songs are emotionally and, as much as recordings can be, physically brutalizing.
The track called ‘Tough Love’ almost takes you by surprise as you’re listening through the album; it tells the story of the vocalist’s pain at his girlfriend’s death after years of abuse by her father. The song ends with his abandoning speaking to her father and agonizingly calling out, “I scream to God on my knees, I wish I was the one to bleed. An eye for an eye, Why did she have to die?” It’s not a song you’re going to forget easily, no matter how many hardcore songs you’ve listened to in the past. It’s agonizingly dark but real. Even though at least at times, the theme on the album is very specific, there’s still something in there thematically for everyone. It’s not overly self obsessed in that regard.
Overall, the vocals are solid hardcore vocals. For hardcore vocals, they’re very listenable. You don’t really need to consult the lyrics while listening the first time around, which gives the music an interesting dynamic. Even still, there’s no sacrificed brutality – musically, it’s pounding. It feels like the band is knocking on your skull and begging to be let in when you turn Blessed by the Burn on in your ears.
For hardcore fans, this album is no doubt going to prove very interesting.