HGR CD Review: Burden My Surrender

BURDEN MY SURRENDER – CHANNELS (no label) Since 2008, Wellsboro-based quintet Burden My Surrender has been blazing a path on the state’s stages with their unrelenting brand of hard-hitting, female-fronted modern rock. Their second recording, Channels, offers a stern crash course on the group’s power, emotion and intensity. Battering ram rhythms generated by drummer Brad Buffington and bassist Kyle Linscott lock horns with snarling and searing guitarwork from Mat Marsiglio and Dale Schoonover; crafting the terse backdrops for singer Britney Johnson, whose blend of range, power, clarity and emotional intensity quickly commands attention through Channels seven tracks. Burden My Surrender crafts sharp and detailed melodies with elaborate plot twists, churning rhythms and frequent tempo shifts. Johnson explores the cracks and crevices of the human psyche in her lyrics. She ponders the demons in her mind on the disc opener “A Mind Invasion,” confronts inner anxieties on “Imagine Agony” and “Worry,” and detachment on “Empty Rooms.” Marsiglio’s and Buffington’s backing screams add more rage to the angry “One to Blame” and “All You Can Count On.” The performances on the CD are strong, with Johnson’s voice direct, stern and to the point; and her bandmates’ instrumental accompaniment forceful and uncompromising. The production by the band and Dave Shaffer enables the intricasies of Johnson’s melodic edge to shine through, while allowing the rest of the band to bare their full teeth and metalcore firepower. Burden My Surrender makes an impressive statement on Channels, a sonic upper cut to the jaw that demands attention and should elevate this group’s modern rock/metal credentials to a higher profile. (The CD can be purchased from the group’s website, www.burdenmysurrender.com.)