"Burnt Offering" is the fourth full length studio album by Staten Island, New York-based group The Budos Band. It was released on 27th October 2014 on the Daptone label.
After three albums of uniformly excellent, Afrofunk-fueled instrumentals, where were the Budos Band to go? The New York ensemble’s fourth album is called Burnt Offering—and from its wizard-sporting cover on down, it draws heavily from the late-60s/early-70s well of dark, arcane proto-metal.
Burnt Offering has its own kind of subtlety, and most of it is in the interplay between meter, genre, and mood. When it falls a little flat, on the tame, muted “Trail of Tears” and “Shattered Winds”, it still manages to register as better-than-average Afrofunk with a tasteful layer of filthy hard rock smeared on top. It's not a profound exercise in fusion, and at times it seems the band might be amusing themselves at the expense of being taken seriously. But the most remarkable thing about Burnt Offering is that, at its core, it really isn’t all that much of a departure from what the Budos Band has always done. The neatest trick the album pulls off is in finding the unexplored commonality between Afrofunk and doom metal—deep grooves, murky atmosphere, hypnotic riffs—then playing them with joy and loopy abandon. Spooky, funky, freedom-loving fun: The chance to embrace something like that doesn’t come along often, and it’s to be cherished.
Reviewed by Jason Heller for pitchfork.com.