BURGERKILL, Venomous (2011, Xenophobic)
Technically this cover breaks the “no skulls” rule, but as the emblem on the forehead of the main skull looks like a temporary henna tattoo, we’ll let it slide. Too bad it’s there, though, because it’s a redundant little mark marring an otherwise impressive piece of artwork. While the art was likely computer generated, it looks like it could just as easily be painted on canvas. The jaw/teeth area being supplanted by a metallic, razor-like implement is a cool touch. There’s nothing hilarious I can say about this, because it’s actually a quality skull cover without any trace of irony or silliness.
This is not exactly lame, but it’s definitely not my cup of tea either. I’ll give credit to Burgerkill for their musical talent — super-tight rhythms and riffs, virtuosic solos, difficult transitions that flow and are made to sound easy — but it’s only recommended if you’re into stuff like Killswitch Engage, Machine Head, Lamb of God, Trivium and maybe even post-Liiva Arch Enemy. The vocals are typical of this sort of metalcore thing, generic barks that sound exactly like any of the other zillion guys that sing like this. The requisite emo/melodic vocals — because metalcore is, after all, totally about formula — are peripheral and fail at being memorable. For what it’s worth, these guys are probably better than the majority of others still slogging away in this regrettable sub-genre, but they’ll need a better name than Burgerkill to be taken seriously on the global level. They’re probably even the best Indonesian band I’ve ever heard, but then I can’t recall a single other Indonesian metal band off the top of my head, even though there are hundreds of them. My most lukewarm, uncommitted recommendation!
— Friar Wagner