Neuroscientific research reveals that our music listening is most intense during the silences. Such information has not diverted Burning Ghosts from their primary mission to fill the known world with sound. The San Francisco band’s second album sees them move to John Zorn’s prestigious Tzadic label where trumpeter Daniel Rosenboom and his colleagues continue their explorations of sonic density – specifically the sort that coagulates when players from a jazz background indulge some bastard child of thrash metal.
The dialogue between idioms is in constant play, whether in the ear-pummelling maelstroms dropping away to a pensive Richard Giddens double bass solo or an agitated soundscape, or with a trumpet solo scything through guitarist Jake Vossler’s tempests and drummer Aaron McLendon’s barages. When they do let the music breathe it carries a calm-before-the-storm portentousness, and when they indulge in rests they are often sharp-edged and savage, as if someone has just sliced the music with a machete. Any nudge-and-wink pastiche element in their approach is dwarfed by four improvisers of towering imagination and calibre revelling in a little sonic brutality.