Released on the much prophesied doomsday date of December 21, 2012, Burnt Belief is a collaborative effort between Porcupine Tree bassist Colin Edwin and guitarist Jon Durant. Intentionally designed to coincide with the much-hyped (and ultimately failed) prophecies of the Mayan apocalypse. The title refers to “what happens to people who try to reconcile delusional beliefs with reality.”
The entirely instrumental album, which also features Jerry Leake on percussion and Geoff Leigh on flute, is a post rock concept album of ambient, electronic and ethnic delights. It’s lengthy songs deal with issues of intellect, fundamentalism and fanaticism, set to an ambient and progressive aural landscape. The title, Burnt Belief, was inspired by a social psychology book, When Prophecy Fails by Leon Festinger, which offers an account of a UFO cult in the 1950s. Edwin explains: “It got me thinking, what are beliefs really about and where do they come from?”
Filled with Luscious arrangements, melodic fretless bass lines, Durant’s signature “Cloud Guitar” textures, synth, and Middle Eastern hand percussion, Burnt Belief creates an atmospheric, dreamy, ambient backdrop which moves and drifts with a certain mysteriousness. Edwin’s sinuous bass lines are heavily featured throughout the album, providing a strong foundation for Durant’s guitar to float upon. While the album is intended to be listened to as a whole, the high point comes with the dual attack of “Balthasar’s Key” and “Uncoiled”, featuring over 20 minutes of compelling sounds that, as Durant says, “Kick enough booty to make anyone sit up and take notice”.
Burnt Belief is an engaging soundscape that captivates it’s listener, yielding a greater sense of serenity and reflection.