Wes Borland is known for being eccentric, off-the-wall, and, most importantly, one hell of a guitar player. For as much as Limp Bizkit is ridiculed, it cannot be denied that their songs are infectious and the guitar hooks huge and powerful. Then there is the work he did with Big Dumb Face, which is nothing short of hilarious. But it is his work on Black Light Burns where Borland really gets the opportunity to shine and let his personality truly come forth.
The Moment You Realize You’re Going To Fall is the follow-up to 2007’s Cruel Melody. With 15 tracks and over an hour of material, does Borland’s latest effort demonstrate his genius or have the ideas begun to stagnate?
Opening with “How To Look Naked”, I thought I was getting into a punk-meets-industrial album. Borland sings in a very operatic, exaggerated manner that is mixed with a circus-esque musical attitude. Everything combined and I had a mental image of Borland as a ringmaster (top hat and all) at a demented circus, serenading the crowd as horror upon horror entered the big tent, terrifying and delighting the audience in equal measures.
The production of the album is strange to describe. There are layers built upon layers with layers stacked on for good measure. It’s a very heavy album that will require multiple listens to appreciate everything. The tones are also very exciting and raw. But what struck me the most about this album was how everything sounded like it was dangerously close to flying wildly out of control. The sounds were kept at bay but only just so. It felt like, at any moment, everything would burst from its confines and the album would slip into utter chaos. It made the listening experience that much more exciting and thrilling.
“Torch From The Sky” demonstrates Borland’s eccentricity, opening with his vocals sporadically effected to sound like a robot malfunctioning, building intensity and aggression before finally culminating into a Porcupine Tree-esque melodic solo ending. It’s a fantastic song that is unlike anything I’ve really ever heard before.
The flow of the album is such that it begins very high energy with an almost tongue-in-cheek attitude. As the album progresses, the songs take on a more serious tone, treading slightly into atmospheric rock. It is as though the album is a representation of maturation and growth.
The Final Word: It takes a very particular frame of mind to listen to The Moment You Realize You’re Going To Fall. But once you’re in that mindset, Black Light Burns delivers a complex, surreal album that is well worth your undivided attention.