A Distant Light / Burak Ozmucur

While it is hard to dispel that Burak Ozmucur might have missed his chance at commercial celebrity - especially since bands like Tool, Deftones, and Alice in Chains gained their recognition during the rage of the MTV video age - it is still probable for this Istanbul native to receive the attention that was once reserved for the thrones of artists making a leap through corporate television. Ozmucur has mastered the recipe that is melodic, progressive metal, and that is sure to appease a loyal fan base.

Burak Ozmucur’s native home town has seen its own thriving music scene, including a metal one that continues to gain momentum. And, although he has made his new home in New Jersey and not LA (where it is said that the original metal scene was heavily based) Ozmucur seems to have made it a habit of finding his ideas and musings to churn out EP after EP in Jersey, so it might be wise to allow him to call that home for as long as he’d like. His newest EP, A Distant Light, was released on September 24, 2016, and Ozmucur wrote, produced, and mixed all four tracks out of his new home studio.

A Distant Light opens up with the self-titled track, A Distant Light. A perfect choice to whet the appetite. The track calmly carries one in with some simple strumming and picked guitar notes, the reverbed guitar is then layered effortlessly with a polyphonic texture of two more processed guitar sounds. This leads to the belief that an atmospheric ambient piece is about to take the listener away on a blissful journey of otherworldly sounds - until that dash of hope is pummeled over with trappings of aggressively played distorted guitar and some heavy drumming. Ozmucur’s processed vocals do add an element of credence that are well balanced, and the chorus has a consonance that brings a gleaming dash of brilliancy.

Ozmucur attempts the same formula used in the intro of A Distant Light for the second track Closer, but it doesn’t quite flow as effortlessly, and might drag a bit too long as the melody doesn’t seem as overly complex. By the time the rhythm finally comes in to give the track the nudge it needs to move on, the listener might have already opted to skip forward to find the transition. Well, the change doesn’t come in until the 3:20 mark. This is where the song gets back to what worked on the first track – a vocal melody with some atmospheric overtones.

The Illusion gets going right off the bat with heavy guitar riffs and some aggressive trappings. Ozmucur’s voice then rightfully claims “A change, so violent”, and it’s presumed he is talking about the contrast from this track to the last one. There is more dynamic to this song which is sure to appeal to those looking for a heavier sound with less atmosphere and more metal. While this track doesn’t have the instrumental variety of A Distant Light, Ozmucur makes it interesting and keeps it driving.

The last track on the EP, Expectations, has a well-balanced mixture of both the atmospheric feel with some heavy dosage compliments of some well-placed bass riffing with palm muting. Ozmucur has an attractive vocal track with just the right amount of obscurity in the lyrics making it an interesting, overall dark song.

Make sure you download the EP at https://burakozmucur.bandcamp.com/album/a-distant-light .

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