Review: Bury Tomorrow – 'Earthbound'

Bury Tomorrow. If you haven’t heard them by now, you’ve certainly got a lot of catching up to do. One of the UK’s finest metal bands, and one that will be representing the UK supporting Parkway Drive next month. Their last release brought us hits such as ‘Man On Fire’ and ‘The Torch’. By those tracks alone, this album is going to have to be something special to top that. Here we have their third album, ‘Earthbound’.

I hope you’re ready. This album isn’t for the faint-hearted. To open, we have ‘The Eternal’. A short inhale of breath from front man Daniel Winter Bates quickly flows into a huge exhale and a brutal assault from the bands rhythmic frontier. Riffs for days. This is one of those tracks that will leave you gasping for more, each section feeding off of the next, somewhat heavier also. What excites me about Bury Tomorrow is their ability to forge clean vocals with insanely heavy tracks. The chorus section of this track is beautiful, with the clean vocals taking priority once again. This band has no regard for instrumental interlude tracks and clean guitar sections. They don’t need it. As an opening track to an album, I think it’ll be difficult to top.

Track two, ‘Last Light’. Once again we start with an intake of breath, certainly a different approach, but one that keeps you guessing as to which vocalist will be taking up the initial part of the track. This time, the track starts with Jason Cameron’s stunning cleans. Accompanied buy intricate fretwork, by lead guitarist Kristian Dawson, the track quickly goes into a riff-based verse. Throughout the track, we phase between different sections… much heavier verse sections, but two very complimenting chorus and pre-chorus sections, that flow into one another seamlessly. As good live as they are on the record, the band’s vocal capabilities are something that will have other bands quivering. In particular, their ability to use both screams and cleans in the pre-chorus. A very special combination indeed. The next track, ‘Earthbound’ capturing a very similar approach. Once again, another hit, but one that I think has been used as a warm up for track four…

… which goes by the name ‘The Burden’. Keeping this track a secret must certainly have been a burden. I would say this is my favorite track on the album, and quite possibly from Bury Tomorrow all together. I can envision festival crowds going insane for this track. There are huge chant sections, bludgeoning riffs, and enough double kick to sink a battleship. This track will have heads banging across that country. I’m sure this’ll go down as a fan favourite in no time.

The fifth track comes in the form of ‘Cemetery’. Like the previous tracks, it shows no remorse. Much more breakdown-based I’d say, guitar wise, but still holding its own with a powerful chorus that captures Cameron’s clean vocals beautifully once again. This is the first track on the album to have a solo! Not a complicated one by any means, but one that compliments the track well… not too intricate, not too slow.

‘Restless & Cold’ follows. By this point, Bury Tomorrow may run out of melodic choruses, you might have thought… not a chance! Definitely a more complex track guitar wise, but this track is certainly a cracker. For the first time on the album, we see a mellow side to Bury Tomorrow. Nice sections of just guitars and drums. Simple yet distorted. No need for cleans, that would not be the Bury Tomorrow that we know so well, but before you get any ideas of them going soft, they throw you into a final breakdown. Satisfied? Very.

For ease, I would like to say “Bury Tomorrow are for fans of… ” but I cant. It’s more of a case of: if you like heavy, you’ll like this.

Anyway, ‘301’ is the next track on the record. I think the band’s recipe of heavy riffs and stunning chorus sections is a formula that will never get old. Each track seems to have a different vibe, which although subtly different, takes each track in a very different direction. It takes something very special to create an album that not only comes across as consistent, but something that also keeps an audience engaged for the entirety. With this track I would say that once again, the riffs are much more breakdown based. Less melody in the verse sections but that balance of verse and chorus compliments it well. Now, earlier on I said that Bury Tomorrow had no regard to clean sections… it appears they do! The first time on the album, and it works. Yet again, taking another stance, the clean section is short but sweet. Abruptly closing with another insanely heavy outro. They couldn’t let you think they were going soft for long, right?

‘Memories’ has the most complex verse section of the album so far. The snare on the opening section certainly taking the strain. The chorus section on this track seems to be the first time that we have properly heard Daniel Bates take to a clean vocal. His gutsier cleans give this track another dimension in the chorus. He has much more attack and presence on the cleans than we have heard from Cameron, once again capturing the bands versatility. Listen out for the bridge section of this track. Once again some cleans, but the chord progression, accompanied by some punishing drums, certainly brings this track to a peak ahead of the final chorus.

The penultimate track on the record, and one of my favourite riffs from the album. That gutsy opening down picked section throws you straight into the heart of the track. Once again, I’d say this is going to be another fan favourite. Heads will be banging, and horns will be up in the air. This’ll be one of the tracks of the festival season for sure. The change up at the end from chorus to middle 8 has a seamless flow to it, making complete sense, and making the transition into the final section a thing of beauty. This is a skill that I think Bury Tomorrow should be applauded for. Their ability to create a great flow, yet still making changes powerful and sudden is something that cannot really be described. It just works.

As this album comes to a close we get to ‘Bloodline’. This song is purely for the riffs. Melody has taken a bit of a back seat with this track, certainly in the initial stages. Not to worry, it’ll be back, just in short increments. I love the purpose with this track. Throughout the track you can tell it’s the final song. They want you to know it is the end. The final section takes a much more toned down approach, a slower chord section, accompanied by some technical lead lines. As the track fades out, you feel satisfied and ready for more.

This album is my favorite release of the past six months. I think this will go down a treat on the Parkway Drive tour next month, and will certainly see them booked up across the UK and Europe for festival season. You can catch them on tour with Parkway Drive and Thy Art Is Murder from the 12th to the 15th of February.

 

Review: Siôn Roe

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