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Beaten Back To Pure - The Burning South 2004 Devil Doll Records reviewed by: EC

Track Listing
1. AmericanVermin
2. Smothered In Sundress
3. Hell Goes Thru Hanging Dog
4. One Shovel And A Place To Die
5. Where The Sewer Meets The Sea
6. Pillars Of Tomorrow, Piles Of Yesterday
7. Vertigo
8. Running Out Of Neck
I really have no clue what you call this. Today's metal is starting to blend so many things together that genre naming has pretty much been thrown out the window. Beaten Back To Pure are apparently making huge strides to get their brand of "hillbilly" rock and roll known world wide. Their new album, "The Burning South", marks the group's third effort to date, and first for new label Devil Doll Records. The band's last two records on Retribute have sold over 20,000 units, and have since become completely sold out. Beaten Back To Pure have made many top 10 album lists with their prior records, and have been seen on tour with the likes of Alabama Thundepussy.

So, what is Beaten Back To Pure? Your guess is as good as mine. "The Burning South" is my first spin of the group's material, and I am baffled and even a bit confused after playing this several times. I can't really describe what I am hearing. I honestly enjoy it, but really have no idea what I'm listening too. The vocals of frontman Boss Hogg remind me of bands like EyeHateGod, with constant deep, guttural howls and lyrics that are hard to understand even with the printed words in front of me. This is very raw, doomy stuff with a touch of southern rock thrown in that should appeal to fans of bands like Cathedral, The Obsessed, Clutch, and even deathy groups like Gorefest, Terra Firma, and Crack Up.

Tracks like "American Vermin" and "Running Out Of Neck" are good foot stompers, raging with a primal need to indulge in Sabbath grind, almost sounding like greaser rock at times. The band hail from Virginia, so they have a deep southern vibe running rampant through their songs. "Smothered In Sundress" comes at you with some twin guitar, and a bottom heavy, electric basement riff that reminds me of Down a bit. "Hell Goes Thru Hanging Dog" is probably my favorite track of the record, with huge leads throughout and chunky guitar that goes beyond the normal heavy downtuning. Other cuts like "Where The Sewer Meets The Sea" are very confusing to me, not really catching me with anything remotely interesting. For instance "Pillars Of Tomorrow, Piles Of Yesterday" goes absolutely nowhere, seeming like filler material on an already shortened album of eight songs. "Vertigo" is an instrumental, which I have no problem with, but again seems to be a slow spot on the disc.

This certainly isn't as processed as a band like Fireball Ministry, so it will catch you off balance at times with it's raw delivery. Nevertheless this is a good piece of sludge, with plenty of good, traditional doom that dates back to basic Sabbath. A great introduction for new fans such as myself, who really aren't familiar with these types of bands. I look for bigger and better things from Beaten Back To Pure in the future.


--EC 10.08.04
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



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TITLE BAND
DOR
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The Burning SouthBeaten Back To Pure
2004
Eric Compton10/8/2004


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