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Burning Skies

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Based in Bristol, England, Burning Skies is among the European bands that has been categorized as deathcore in the 2000s.
Deathcore has often been described as a combination of death metal and hardcore, and Burning Skies' extreme, over-the-top vocals owe something to death metal's guttural, deep, demonic-sounding growls as well as metalcore's abrasive, harsh screaming. Arguably, deathcore is part of the European branch of metalcore, and while Burning Skies is not a carbon copy of American metalcore bands, one of their influences (perhaps indirectly rather than directly) is Hatebreed (one of the best and most influential metalcore crews in the United States). The word "extreme" not only describes Burning Skies' vocals. it describes everything about the band. Leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination, the British outfit thrives on sledgehammer ferocity and total sensory assault; their material is blistering, intense, merciless and devoid of subtlety. Part of what makes Burning Skies so unforgiving is their use of density; the Brits go for as much density and thickness as possible, and that gives their recordings a suffocating, highly claustrophobic quality. Density is a main ingredient of Slayer and Carcass (two of the band's other influences) as well as Hatebreed, and it is no less important to the members of Burning Skies, who, in European circles, are known for their aversion to emo, a style of punk-pop that was quite popular in the '90s and early 2000s. In fact, one of their songs is titled "Emo Assassin." Singer/guitarist Liam has been quoted as saying that he isn't worried about Burning Skies offending or alienating emo fans; most emo fans, he reasons, wouldn't appreciate Burning Skies' material anyway.
Burning Skies was formed in Bristol in September 2002, when Liam got together with drummer Stu and bassist Andie; like a lot of the underground metal, hardcore, and punk artists who emerged in the early 2000s, Burning Skies' members have been reluctant to reveal their last names. Burning Skies didn't want to remain a trio, and by the end of 2002, they had added singer Merv and singer/guitarist Ben to the lineup and become a quintet. Although Bristol -- a heavily working class city in the southwestern part of England -- was famous for trip-hop (a form of electronica) in the early to mid-2000s, anyone who caught any of Burning Skies live shows in 2003 or 2004 realized that they had absolutely no connection to the U.K.'s well-publicized electronica/dance club scene; their vicious metal/punk assault is not electronica in any way, shape or form. The first thing Burning Skies recorded was a demo titled Premonition of Things to Come, which they circulated in 2003. One of the labels they sent that demo to was Lifeforce Records, a small German indie that has been quite metal-friendly -- and Lifeforce ended up signing the band. Burning Skies recorded its first full-length album, Murder by Means of Existence, in April 2004; Lifeforce released the skullcrushing disc in both Europe and the United States in August of that year. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi

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