Concert Review: The Burning of Rome

The Artifice, July 8

As with most obscure experimental bands, placing the Burning of Rome into a specific genre is devilishly difficult. The goofy, explosive San Diego rock group fights every point of recognition. At the risk of copping out, the Burning of Rome could be described as having its own genre.

Their music could be the soundtrack to—as their track “Audrie II” suggests—a modern-day Little Shop of Horrors. From the climactic, commanding bell-chime scale of “Ballad of an Onion Sprout” to the tantric, addictive metal guitar riff on “Wake Up Edamame,” both off the band’s 2012 debut, With Us, Burning of Rome’s epic, otherworldly, almost creepy vibe never shattered. Many of the complexities that make this band great would have been lost on someone who had not heard the recorded album before viewing the live performance. The sound quality was poor and the mic levels seemed off. Overall, the venue failed to capture the variety and essence of their “marching band from hell” aesthetic. ★★★✩✩

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