Review: Burial Waves ‘Holy Ground’

Every now and then something comes out which defies any exact classification. It’s a little bit something, and a little bit something else. It sounds a little bit like one specific band, or maybe it’s a tiny bit like someone else altogether. Either way, trying to join the dots, to give a concise coherent example for a band’s style, or genre, is really not as easy as it should be.

Burial Waves ‘Holy Ground’

Sometimes, you look at the band, see where they’ve been before, and hope that even that may draw some answers, without any success. Sometimes that’s because they aren’t anything other than totally unique. Even while they’re compelling, to try and put them into a context for the experience, is elusive.

Burial Waves are one of those bands. A quintet made of musicians who’ve all been playing under other guises, the five-piece have created something which will hopefully keep you entertained, long after the EP has finished. By EP, I refer to their debut Holy Ground, a five-track experience, that shows just when you think you’ve heard it all, you need to think again.

Burial Waves, to give you a little background, are primarily based in Baltimore and DC area of the US and were formed in 2019. A culmination of members from other bands such as Pianos Become The Teeth, Black Cloud, Caverns, and The Effects, the band has a real air of heritage about it. This EP shows that, without any shadow of a doubt. For a debut, it feels like a band who’ve far more years on their existence than a 2019 formation would suggest.

A sum of all its parts, each musician brings something to the table, and equally, no part is underwhelming in the mix. Through the five tracks, there’s a real sense of something truly memorable coming together, and hopefully, the EP is just a taste of things to come, with a full album on the cards for some time soon. The only thing I can say is that five tracks just isn’t enough, if you listen once, you will want to listen again, and again, and again.

Somewhat post-rock in style, I don’t think that is an entirely correct classification, but to be fair, it isn’t death metal, or stoner, or doom either. What it is, I guess, is like taking Mastodon, making them more accessible, and dropping the whole prog vibe. When Burial Waves are flying, it’s intense, and brutal, without being too much, and on quiet moments they’re truly captivating. It’s a hard one to explain, Burial Waves sound familiar, but at the same time, they don’t. All I can say is that if you truly want an experience, then sourcing the band out is the best way, don’t overly make any decisions on reviews alone.

When Burial Waves are flying, it’s intense, and brutal, without being too much, and on quiet moments they’re truly captivating…

That being said, this EP really is a beauty. It’s a considered experience, which feels adult. It doesn’t have any silly clichés, doesn’t descend into crudeness to sell itself, and I firmly believe that it’s grown-up music for grown-ups.

Overall, each track sounds like its predecessor as it plays through, and there isn’t any point where the band stray from the path. If you really want to get the full-on experience, from one track in particular, I would definitely recommend you hunt down the track The Guest, as for me, this truly captivates everything the band is capable of.

With awkward vocal signatures, chugging guitar passages, and staggering drum patterns, it’s truly unique and very infectious. The overlay of sound is dynamic and full, without feeling awkward. It feels disjointed, but is so absorbing, that every part makes sense in the final outpouring, even if listening to individual elements is a little peculiar.

To say The Guest is a standout doesn’t do any justice to the rest of the EP, as like I mentioned earlier, the whole thing is equally as memorable, and to get to The Guest if you do go hunt down the EP, you still have to go through four other absolutely spellbinding tracks indeed.

Right from the opener, Light Heads, if you’re like me, you will be in for the ride, and want more with every listen. At Sea is a little slower, but by no means is this a bad thing. Moody and dark, it gives me a real Warrior Soul vibe, from back when Warrior Soul were a beacon of light amongst a lot of cliché bands doing the rounds in the mid-nineties. It’s honest and genuine, and I think will defy being pigeonholed into any one genre.

Ultimately, it feels like adult music, for adults. Vastly more mature than its age, it’s so much more than just a heavy noise, and I firmly believe will set a new precedent in grown-up music, that defies any specific target audience. Keep an eye on this band, this is just the start…

Label: Dark Operative
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter | Instagram

Scribed by: Lee Beamish