Burial – ‘Untrue’ album review: brooding atmosphere and hypnotic beats

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Known for popularising Dubstep, ‘Untrue’ is the second studio album by the British electronic music producer William Bevan, aka Burial.

Released in 2007, ‘Untrue‘ represents a significant moment in the relatively recent Dubstep genre, a subgenre of EDM that emerged in South London around the 2000s. Dubstep blends elements of grime, drum and bass, broken beat, and minimalist dub production with 2-step beats. Burial contributed to this genre, particularly through ‘Untrue’. The artist has been pivotal in its development.

The album is notable for its incredible production, darker tone, and rhythmic patterns inspired by late-night recording sessions and London garage raves. Building on the foundation set by his previous self-titled debut album, ‘Untrue’ expands with increased use of time- and pitch-shifted vocal samples. Additionally, this gloomy album is full of 2-step rhythms that come across as upbeat and danceable but are surrounded by very eerie samples and industrial production.

Burial’s innovative sampling techniques incorporate a wide range of sounds, from phone vibrations and car keys to ambient noises like rain and vinyl hiss, creating a distant, distorted, and ethereal atmosphere. Not to mention how great and layered each song sounds, Burial presents us with a remarkable piece of work. Tracks such as ‘Archangel,’ ‘Homeless,’ and ‘Shell of Life’ exemplify the album’s melancholy and introspective mood. On the other hand, songs like ‘Untrue’ and ‘Raver’ highlight Burial’s versatility with rave-inspired beats.

‘Untrue’ stands as a complex and breathtaking work, reflecting a range of emotions and establishing Burial as a master of his craft. Recently ranked 94th on Apple Music’s 100 Best Albums and arguably on the level of most Aphex Twin projects, this album is a must-listen for fans of EDM and those looking to explore the Dubstep genre.

Take a listen:

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Diogo Isidoro
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