Burning Down Alaska – “Values & Virtues”


values & Burning Down Alsaka (from now on BDA in short) is, what they call themselves, a New Wave Hardcore band from Recklinghausen, Germany. “Values & Virtues” is their first release, released by Redfield Records. BDA stated from the beginning that they “wish for something more, for stepping on paths no one else has walked before.” A bold statement which we will see later on in this review if they can make it true. They definitely put the bar high and when we see, for example, that the song ‘Phantoms’ features Michael McGough from Being As An Ocean, you have my instant attention.

With the title “Values & Virtues” it is not hard to guess what the lyrical content is about. They say: “We live in a degenerated world, in which values only exist to back up your actions. It’s about time that people remember the real meanings of those values.” They wanted to write songs that everyone can relate to and they thought that the best way for them was to take the title as a guideline which was already decided at a very early stage.

It all begins with an intro which is conveniently called ‘Intro’ and the tone is already set by this, it makes you hungry for more and eagerly waiting for more to come. You don’t have to wait for too long because suddenly ‘Brighter Days’ kicks in. No standard hardcore but very melodic guitar Lines and a screamer with a tone and passion that comes out of his toes. Beautiful!

As I said this is no average hardcore band, they have an own sound which reminds me of Being As An Ocean. And yes, that is a compliment! I almost can hear you say: “Then it is not original” but trust me, if you say that, you are wrong. Guitarlines and solo’s are different from BAAO. The guitarwork could also easily be played by an Indie Rockband. In the song ‘Savior’ you can hear what I mean, rockmusic meets hardcore. And the sound of that Bass, wow!

The ‘Interlude’ is just an instrumental oasis and somehow it touches something inside me. Music is a language and they speak it very well. Followed by ‘Phantoms’ which flows fluently from the interlude. This song features Michael McGough of Being As An Ocean. I am almost moved to tears, yeah seriously, I am a sensitive dude I know. But really the emotion in this song is amazing.

‘Clockwork’ is more a traditional rock song, a bit more uptempo than the rest of the songs but again with an underlying hardcore sound. At the end he screams: “The best of me!!!” Well, I believe him. ‘Monuments’ starts with a beautiful piano sound and we hear a bit more heavy screamwork from Tobias. And again guitarwork that gives you the chills in a positive way. ‘Trophies’ features Michael Lawler. Also an uptempo song with some heavy chugging combined with calmer moments to build up again.

All in all a debut album to be proud of. And I was curious about the term New Wave Hardcore, but they are making it true. If this is the future of a new hardcore sound, I am definitely into it.

Well done guys! I will follow you in the future. Oh and they play at the Never Say Die tour in the autumn together with bands as Being As An Ocean, Fit For A King, The Amity Affliction and some more. So go and check them out, I know I will….

Rating: 8.5/10

Written by: René Woning

1. Intro
2. Brighter Days
3. Reality & Fiction
4. Savior
5. Interlude
6. Phantoms (feat. Michael McGough of Being As An Ocean)
7. Clockwork
8. Monuments
9. Trophies (feat. Michael Lawler)

Band members:
Tobias Rische – Vocals
Marvin Bruckwilder – Guitar
Dario Sanchez – Guitar
Julian Englisch – Bass
Jonas Baier – Drums

“Values & Virtues” (2015)

Record Label: Redfield Records, March, 2015

Weblinks: Facebook / Website / Twitter

Buy the album here:
Holland: First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

Video below: ‘Phantoms (feat. Michael McGough of Being As An Ocean)’

Video below: ‘Savior’

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