After my fourth spin, I'm still not quite sure what to make of Germany's My Inner Burning and their sophomore release, Eleven Scars. Finally, a few words came to mind: contemporary, interesting, and ambivalence. The elaboration on these concepts is lengthy, but you'll get a sense of what's been on my mind for three days concerning this work.
On Eleven Scars, My Inner Burning several of the right elements for modern rock/metal trends: a sound a bit harsher than traditional heavy metal, but still melodic; an emphasis on riffage and groove in their arrangements rather than guitar gymnastics (you'll have to listen carefully a true guitar solo); a female vocalist who can scream/sing; and, some death/hardcore vocals to back her up. Eleven Scars is interesting, yet still conventional, because the blend a populist melodic groove with gothic, death, and heavy metal. This relationship, however, is probably what stymied me the most.
The opener, Masquerade, sounds like that elusive combination, melodic gothic death metal. It's a great heavy tune, and then Jorg Janssen enters with his death/hardcore vocals and totally ruins the song. Somebody should stuff a suck in his mouth, preferably soaking it in chloroform beforehand. These vocals continue but get progressively toned down in the next two song, Analize and Electrified. Both are quite good, but the latter is a scorcher. My Inner Burning hits their groove (finally) with For the Last Time delivering that accessible groove in a tightly packed entertaining modern arrangement.
Getting to the quieter When I'm Gone you suddenly realize how very talented Becky Gaber truly is. This gal does not have to shriek or scream in the metal voice to be heard. This song coupled with the closer Homesick are two very impressive and satisfying songs, and largely the best stuff here.
In between these two only Demons and Enemy of Mine really captured my interest: solid modern heavy rock/metal numbers with melody, intensity, and groove (but also those pesky deathcore vocals). Otherwise, the second half of this work makes the whole of Eleven Scars sound like any current and conventional melodic modern hard rock/metal; sort of where Lacuna Coil should be if they didn't do Shallow Life. Therefore, this is the reason for my ambivalence. Ultimately, I enjoyed my listening experience but, honestly, I'm glad this review is finally written. I'm not sure I will be revisiting My Inner Burning's Eleven Scars again any time soon.