Silverburn is the solo project of James ‘Jimbob’ Isaac (Ex-Taint / Hark). The Welsh metal visionary began this journey during the cruel lockdown winter of 2020. It has been said that extreme conditions demand extreme responses, and Self Induced Transcendental Annihilation began as an elemental response to the almighty global gut-punch that surrounded its creation.
With this album, Isaac has meticulously crafted a wholly uncompromising solo offering in the truest sense. Spirit metal, quantum thrash, metaphysical post-sludgecore… call it what you will, this album takes zero prisoners. A true dark night of the soul, in stereo. Having written, constructed and finalised each song at his digital home studio within a self-allotted twelve month time frame, Isaac then proceeded to practice and actualise the live drumming over the twelve months that followed. The two and a half year creative journey then culminated in the recording studio where JB committed each live instrument to tape with producer Gethin Pearson at his Institute of Sonic Architecture studios in Wales, in January 2023.
Released on 11th August (MSH Music Group) (pre-order here), Self Induced Transcendental Annihilation is a healing rite of passage. A hero’s metallic journey of total annihilation, rebirth and healing through fire. With Isaac’s legacy traversing his former bands Taint and Hark, this solo album marks a shift forward from his tried, tested and influential ‘stoner rock/post-hardcore/prog-sludge’ template. Whilst followers and fans of his signature roots may take some surprise over the hard hitting direction of Silverburn, the DNA of these songs resides firmly within Isaac’s authentic canon of influences. From the world-ending double-kick maelstrom of opening track ‘Annihilation’ to the cinematic, discordant chug and release of ‘Etheric Crush’ this album draws from Isaac’s beloved eras of 90’s metal and 2000’s metallic hardcore/math/noisecore/space/sludge metal.
We asked Jimbob about three releases that have played a huge influence on his musical career so far…
Knut – Challenger
My great friends from Geneva were a big influence on my album. Their Challenger album (2002) came along at a time when I was broadening my guitar playing and songwriting, before writing Taint’s Nova Roma album in 2004. Knut were a mythical whirlwind of sludge, post-hardcore and math genius. An unstoppable live force with whom I was privileged to tour many times. Knut were almost an anomaly, their indie/outsider charisma possibly perplexing the more narrow minded metallers. Challenger is an icy cold collection of songs, Swiss glacial spikes and frost-bitten tech-sludge mastery, with chilling drone scapes and metallic savagery. Very sadly, Knut’s frontman Didier passed away in 2022, to whom my album is dedicated to. RIP Didier. Knut’s legacy is one to be celebrated, and I will always be grateful for the connection I have with Roderic (drums, song writing) and his cohorts. Challenger sits evenly next to Mastodon’s Remission and Botch’s We Are The Romans for early 2000s metallic mastery.
Deadguy – Fixation On A Coworker
The recently reformed Deadguy were true innovators and genre-mashers during a very formative era. 1995’s Fixation On A Coworker was unlike anything I had heard, and was equally hypnotic and enticing. It’s ‘fuck you’ melding of twisted metal and acerbic hardcore punk went on to be highly influential for the likes of Converge, Drowning Man, Dillinger Escape Plan, Lamb of God and leages more bands to follow. The intention behind my album was to firstly be a very honest, zero fucks, high energy album, as well as my own personal homage to the sonic abrasion and attitude of the likes of Deadguy, Knut, Coalesce and Botch amongst a few others. It was actually the Victory Records ‘Victory Style’ compilation album (1996) that first introduced me to the ‘Guy, with their second incarnation/lineup and the ‘Pins And Needles’ track from their Screamin’ With The Deadguy Quintet EP. While Screamin… is a slightly different kind of chaotic beast, and also much loved, it was the precedent Fixation… that really lit the touch paper for many bands to follow.
Botch – We Are The Romans
Hydrahead Records was blazing a trail in early 2000s forward thinking heavy music, and We Are The Romans was a huge addition to their canon. With the likes of Isis, Converge, Cave In and Mastodon Botch helping push this movement of technical, crushing, progressive (without being prog) metal into new territory. We are the Romans contains all the best parts of Jesus Lizard, Shellac, and Helmet with a vicious, twisted metallic hardcore backbone and attack. Punk minded people with dangerously honed metal chops and imagination. While the likes of Refused and At The Drive-In kicked more overground doors through with their The Shape of Punk to Come album, the underground titans Botch and their aforementioned cohorts were bleeding edges and burning their own musical molotovs. The recently reformed Botch are already setting stages alight once again, and I can’t wait to witness it myself.