Review: “Built From War” by Upon A Burning Body

Throughout their career, San Antonio Texas natives Upon A Burning Body have style shifted between records. Starting out as a Death Metal band, then switching to Deathcore and even Party Deathcore with Metallic Hardcore leanings they partially reinvented their sound with their last album, June 2019’s “Southern Hostility“. A Groove Metal affair with Pantera and Lamb Of God influence, it received a mixed reviews from critics because while it is solid, it lacks a certain amount punch that the band had previously bought to the table with the likes of “Red. White. Green.“. As with “Southern Hostility“, this new EP sees the band record with producer Christopher Mora, who is also created with writing, as well as guitarist Ruben Alvarez’s younger brother Thomas Alvarez. So on the face of it, the group, who are rounded out by vocalist Danny Leal, bassist Joe Antonellis and drummer Tito Felix have continued where they left off last time around…

…We’ve heard a trio of cuts from “Built From War” before they were released on this EP, which seems like something of a safe approach. The powerhouse opener “5×3” is a fine cut and would grace any Groove Metal album, it’s slick solo moments are and pummelling rhythm section are soaked in the attitude of bands like Pissing Razors. Title track “Built From War” rattle the cage with staccato riffs building to that groove flow and a mid track breakdown section is solid, again those lead drops are impressive. Going back down the Nu-Metal introspective lyrical route from Leal on “Chains of Agony“, which has a Metalcore style sing-a-long chorus is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, music solid and with a good tempo but on the other a bit frustrating as it could have been better and breaks up the flow of the EP. It would have been better placed as a closing cut, especially with its off spoken word and chanted lyrics during the fade. Then you get a cut like “Living For The Weekend“, which has a party Deathcore lyrical theme and a crossover Groove Metal edge is a fun floor filling single with swagger. Leal delivers a powerhouse vocal performance during “Extermination”, a cut that updates the 90s Groove Metal sound with a face melting solo, some real headbanging pull on those riffs and makes it their own. Upon A Burning Body have evolved once again and the transformation injects a level of fun that you might not have expected. All in all, a worth while addition to their collection and an extension of “Southern Hostility“, if you liked that, you’re going to love this [7/10]

track listing

1. 5×3
2. Build From War
3. Chains of Agony
4. Living For The Weekend
5. Extermination

Built From War” by Upon A Burning Body is out now via Seek & Strike Records and available over at bandcamp.

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