[Album Review] Treehouse Burning ‘Overdose’
ARTIST: Treehouse Burning
ALBUM NAME: ‘Overdose’
RELEASE DATE: October 2017
COUNTRY: South Africa
CITY: Cape Town, ZA
Members: Vocals: Nathan Schacht
Guitar: Jesse Kuhn
Guitar: Gareth Ashton
Bass: Richard Poultney
Drums: Joshua Haller
Over the past couple of years South African heavy Metal and alternative music has frankly been receiving a very much welcomed blossoming. More and more international acts are coming to the Motherland and our community is finally beginning to catch on. This is enabling us to showcase our rich and vast talent.
Amongst the erupting scene a new contender on the block emerges – Treehouse Burning, who is already gaining footing within the online realms (their current tracking stacking up collectively over 10000 views on Youtube).
Formed in early 2016 Treehouse Burning is a 5 piece metalcore band from Cape Town. Comprising of singer-songwriter and guitarist Jesse Kuhn, sharing guitar duties with Gareth Ashton, Nathan Schacht on harsh vocals, Richard James Poultney adding the bass unit, and Josh Haller on drums.
Treehouse Burning are South Africa’s answer to The Browning, with electronics weaved into the tapestry of their music, they manage to deliver their sound with a staggering brutality that can only be described as disgustingly fulfilling.
Treehouse burning have been teasing the release of their EP entitled “Overdose” since April 2017, and it’s been an exciting, yet gruelling wait for The Metalist to get their eager hands on it.
‘Overdose’ dropped on the 23rd of October and is a quick 13 minute 04 second journey of atmospheric EDM and crushing breakdowns. The EP can be picked up on their Bandcamp page, and as reported by the band is soon to be up on all major music platforms. That being said, without further ado, lets dive right in.
- Burn: The track “Burn” opens up the album with an illuminating and slow piano-esque melody, which gradually gains the backing of atmospheric electronics. These pulse and fluctuate and -in the distance, the sound of the bands instrumentals come pummelling-in, they are unforgiving from the word go. The breakdowns have begun- the snares cutting through each hammering blow, what a way to begin an album. A slight distortion has rung of what is to come.
- Minority Crypt: Track number 2 starts off with an ominous heartbeat monitor backing track, along with the rhythm of a seemingly failing heartbeat. The band launches into “Minority crypt” with a clear statement as Schacht bellows with an ear piercing cry ‘Shut it off!’ This quickly descends into a gruelling cascade of synths and chaotic riffing. All of this grasps for the listeners attention, and oh boy, do we have it.
Schacht shows off his vocal prowess in which he lays high expectations for the rest of the album. Making use of both highs and death metal worthy growls, Schacht has a demon inside of him that Treehouse Burning have been waiting to let loose.
Haller’s skills behind the skins are apparent from the first moment of impact, and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down at any point. He seamlessly switches up from blistering breakdown to house-party worthy head-bobbing, bouncy beats that The Metalist isn’t quite sure whether they should be moshing, dancing, or both.
By the time the signature ‘core blegh shatters the track, the listener has the bands full attention. As quickly as the track has begun, the final breakdown attacks the listener again with heartbeat spikes in-between, the guitars crushingly, rhythmic turbulence that it’s almost expected. Once again our heart-rates are spiking along with it and the track tapers off, leaving The Metalist wanting more.
- Overdose (Feat. Jonny McBee of The Browning): The Metalist mentioned that THB are South Africa’s answer to The Browning, aside from the similarities in sound, this track is the reason why. The band has solidified the signature sound that the gents from Missouri procured and have mastered over the years. They have also managed to get guest vocals of Jonny McBee. McBee has a stack of experience under his belt, which THB are able to hold up and boast about, made evident by this track.
The title track is quite clearly the stand out track of the album, which starts off with Treehouse Burning’s now cemented signature of atmospheric bassy synth. These fluctuate at rates that make the listener almost apprehensive for what’s coming. Lost-in-transmission, guitars start chugging away and the track is underway in a flurry of relentless blast beats that has our heads nodding.
There are two things that make this track, in the opinion of The Metalist, great. Firstly McBee’s guest spot, which melds seamlessly into the track, but at the same time doesn’t detract from the bands overall spotlight. McBee doesn’t outshine his fellow musicians, but rather compliments Overdose, – a successful feature, and good job gents.
Secondly, the graceful breakdown. Shortly after McBee’s appearance the band starts building up to a breakdown that hasn’t touched The Metalists ears (in the metalcore realms at-least), in a very long time. At this point the band is a cohesive force to be reckoned with, every member and listener teetering on the edge of the chaos ready to unfold.
Suddenly a menacing and psychotic laugh pierces the track, followed by a slam-worthy breakdown that assaults the listener’s ears. Schatch uses a range that one would find fitting for something off of an Ingested album. The guitars are crushing, the drums are machine-gun like and do not let up- utter madness. Just as quickly as the music latches onto us, the fray ceases and all we are left with are the haunting synths that twinkle out of reach.
- The Overpass: This is an interlude track that Kuhn discussed with The Metalist containing two different parts of a speech, layered on top of a lo-fi hip hop, bass laden beat which discusses the topic of overdosing. The interlude is welcomed after the chaos that was just had; it throws the listener into a thought provoking dialogue that makes one wonder if they haven’t stumbled into another time or place.
- Endless (feat. Elizabeth Grace): The final track of the album may come as a surprise a midst all the chaos and never-ceasing previous riffing. It starts off with a very relaxed tone and atmospheric synths that add a dreamy texture to the track. Kuhn’s clean vocals come into the foggy induced state that the track creates and he carries his lyrics elegantly, complementing the mood. The feature of this track is Elizabeth Grace, highly acclaimed acoustic artist from Los Angeles. Grace’s feature plays off of Kuhn’s vocals so well that the contrast has The Metalist reminiscing of Bring Me the Horizon’s ‘Deathbeds’ with a ‘Lights’ feature.
The track continues into a barrage of instrumental shredding. After a confession of endless love, the band comes together one last time to show off their musical prowess. It comes across clearly with the tracks bridge, which brings the album to an ultimate climax. Finally, breaking off into a dead-space of mellow synths that close the album off beautifully.
For fans of: The Browning, Enter Shikari, Bring Me The Horizon.
Reviewed by: Cayden Nel
Shots supplied by: Treehouse Burning
Date: October 2017
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