By: Rick Polo (Editor-in-Cheif)
Artist: Black Light Burns
Album: The Moment You Realize You’re Going to Fall
Release Date: 8/14/12
It’s been five long years since Black Light Burns have released a proper full-length album. In those five years, BLB master-mind Wes Borland had kept his hands pretty full. He’s done small touring stints with BLB as well as a short tenure as Marilyn Manson’s touring guitarist. Most notably, Borland reunited with his former band, Limp Bizkit, to embark on several world tours and release 2011’s Gold Cobra.
With the exception of 2008’s Cover Your Heart, a collection of genre-spanning covers, there’s been little activity from Black Light Burns since the release of their 2007 debut, Cruel Melody.
Borland began Black Light Burns sometime around 2006, collaborating with Danny Lohner of Nine Inch Nails and A Perfect Circle and drummer extrodinare Josh Freese. Cruel Melody was written and recorded solely by Borland with little instrumentation from his collaborators and a few guest musicians.
In 2012, Borland announced that the band was back and ready to release a new album titled The Moment You Realize You’re Going to Fall, an album nearly four years in the making.
Borland began writing tracks for the album as far back as 2008 during the Cover Your Heart sessions. The track, “I Want You To” appeared on the soundtrack to the 2009 film Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, but shortly thereafter Borland rejoined Limp Bizkit for extensive touring, leaving many to wonder if and when new Black Light Burns material would surface.
The Moment You Realize You’re Going to Fall indicates growth and maturity for Borland as a song writer. Even more so than Cruel Melody, this album provides Borland a platform for his signature eccentric playing and unique creativity, painting a macabre portrait with lush soundscapes, driving electro-rhythms and his undeniable abilty to rock the living hell out of his guitar.
The album kicks off with the lead single “How to Look Naked,” a quirky up-tempo rocker. It then explodes into the proto-punk industrial slammers “We Light Up” and “I Want You To.” From there, the album rears its atmospheric head with the electro outerworldly sounds of tracks like “The Colour Escapes” and “Torch From the Sky.”
While there are plenty more guitar-driven rockers such as “Tiger By the Tail” and “Splayed,” weird instrumentation takes hold on tracks like “Your Head Will Be Rotting on a Spike.”
Finally, the final third of the albums leans on a more atmospheric note, some by means of keyboard textures and other by guitar. The album’s closer, “The Moment You Realize You’re Going to Fall,” is a perfection summation of the two sounds which dominate the album crashed into one song.
Lyrically, the album seems like a leap forward for Borland. He loses some of the angst Cruel Melody conveyed for a slightly more sophisticated and spanful poetic tone, not far from the vein of Detones’ Chino Moreno’s. The lyrics tend to run even deeper than on the previous album, growing darker and more menacing with depth and sophistication. Not bad for a sophmore effort.
Overall, the new album definitely has expanded upon the foundations established by their debut. Instead of repeating the same formula, they’ve taken it a step further by stretching the pallet of the song writing.
Metalheads may have a difficult time with the album. Although there’s plenty of killer riffage, driving rhythms and the occasional soaring guitar solo, as a whole it relies more on the atmospherics and sonic textures. The bass is what’s most heavily distorted, with the guitars providing more of a rock tone than metal. The album will most likely appeal to fans of goth rock, industrial and more left-of-center styles of punk rock.
The Moment You Realize You’re Going to Fall proves once and for all that Wes Borland is a very distinct artist all on his own and it’s a far cry from that of rap-metallers Limp Bizkit. He’s stated several times that despite still being a full-time member of Limp Bizkit, Black Light Burns is more than just a side project, but its own entity and his own creative outlet.
This disc is tangable proof that he’s exactly right.