Album Review: The Story Of Our Lives
By The Violet Burning
By Paul Gibson | August 4th, 2011 | Posted In Album Review
Some albums defy classification or words to truly describe their greatness. There aren’t many. But this is one of them. The Violet Burning have been working tirelessly over a 3-year period to be able to release not only an album, but an entire experience. The whole package is phenomenal. Not only are there three discs (really three albums) but the packaging is the kind of stuff that avid collectors live for. It has a 4-pannel-DVD-size case with a huge 80 page booklet with art that helps guide the listener through the story of the album. No packaging I have ever seen for a music album can touch this.
With 34 songs in all, this album is a gothic/alternative/grunge/rock masterpiece. Do you remember the fanfare over The Smashing Pumpkins double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness? Imagine that times three. Unlike MCATIS this album doesn’t contain an ounce of filler. All the songs are rock solid and inspire emotion while telling a story.
Michael Pritzl’s lyrics lay out a concept album of monstrous proportions with this release. Starting with TH3 FANTA5T1C MACH1N3 (The Fantastic Machine) (disc 1) there’s the main character and the idea that all humans are born with a gift(s) with which to serve God. But when the character enters the world and things in it (the machine) he realizes that he doesn’t belong, and the only out is to die.
Black As Death (disc 2) centers around the feelings of loss, dealing with change in life etc. It also talks about the beauty that came come from our brokenness as humans and how God meets us and helps us through those times of loss.
Lebe Uber Alles (disc 3), German for “love over all things,” shows that because character has chosen death that he can truly live and continue the journey. The album then wraps up with the song “Made For You,” when the character realizes he was made by God and for God.
Pritzl’s vocals range from an almost Billy Corgan scream and signing vocal style to a near David Bowie gothic low vocal. Most vocalists can only dream of being able to nail one style well, but Pritzl hits a homerun with both. If that wasn’t enough he can even nail ballads with a third vocal style that is different from either. This guy has talent.
Songs like “br0thr” have a tangible sadness that can suck you in immediately while songs like “Rock Is Dead” remind us just how “rock” The Violet Burning can get with their heavy-grungy-goodness. I would try to break out more songs to talk about, but even if I discussed 15 songs it would still be only half of the album. All of the songs are great and deserve your time.
The only thing I would warn someone about when getting this album. If you have a short attention span, it might not be a bad idea to digest each disc one at a time rather than listening to the entire 2 hour and 20 minute album all at once. It is a lot to take in.
So if you like rock, in any form, this album is by far my favorite of the Violet Burning catalog, but more than that, it might easily be the best album I have heard this decade. Get it.
Rock Is Dead
Machine Beat Sabbatha
Firstborn From the Dead
My Name Is Night
Made For You