Bury Your Dead

Bury Your Dead

Written by: AP on 31/07/2008 07:32:07

For Massachusetts five piece chug rockers Bury Your Dead it\'s never been about breaking grounds or pushing boundaries. One listen to the band\'s past material speaks for itself: this is a band that\'s content with writing straightforward hardcore songs with one breakdown too many. Ultra-fast, technical riffing isn\'t of any concern to them; nor are complex song structures or catchy hooks. So, with such assets (or rather, conscious lack thereof) the band has droned along seamlessly, satisfied with being spelled with rather small characters on the bills of other bands\' shows.

It isn\'t a closely guarded secret either, that gleam in their eyes that\'s there to remind us that while this isn\'t some part time band, it\'s not exactly serious business either. I mean, how could it be with two concept albums, one based on Tom Cruise and his movies and the other on classic fairy tales (\"Cover Your Tracks\" and \"Beauty and the Breakdown respectively)? Having said that, it now seems Bury Your Dead are keen on proving they\'re capable of more than just that. With Michael Crafter lost to home sickness (isn\'t that why he quit I Killed The Prom Queen, too?), the band has recruited former Cassius singer Myke Terry. Needless to say, the change isn\'t subtle. Where the band used to have little to offer in the form of melody, Myke\'s decided to enlist the entirety of his vocal range which, make no mistake, isn\'t that broad, but nevertheless a welcome improvement to that monotonous growl heard on the band\'s previous efforts. Clean vocals on a Bury Your Dead album? What\'s this? Well, for starters I can tell you what it isn\'t: an Italian tenor. It\'s the sort of coarse, manly voice those of us who are familiar with John Henry are accustomed to, which for Bury Your Dead\'s purposes works to their benefit.

Musically, too, advances have been made. Instead of constant down-tuned chug-chug, there\'s actually some movement present. Ellis and Slim\'s riffs now occasionally orchestrate an atmosphere of sorts, and it\'s in these passages that Myke Terry lets rip with that modest but sufficient vocal range of his. \"Hands to Hide the Shame\" and \"Infidel\'s Hymn\" are prime examples, and subsequently also among the album\'s strongest tracks. Much to my surprise, they\'re not characteristic of that typical Bury Your Dead sound, in that they aren\'t instantly forgettable. Said songs have found their way into my playlists many a time of late, but they look pathetic and insignificant next to the absolutely monstrous \"Fever Dream\" where the band has chosen to travel south for inspiration and to pay some homage to one Willie Adler. If this track doesn\'t boil a room, chances are the venue is your local centre for paraplegics.

But there\'s still work to be done. Even with the significant improvements Bury Your Dead owes it to us to reduce the number of breakdowns to no greater than two per song and preferably leave them out altogether from a select few, or hell, most songs to make room for the creative impulses their other face is sending out. As it is now, it\'s a desperate, losing battle for the better half of the band\'s schizophrenic personality. When the band wants to, they\'re perfectly capable of writing songs that will not only sell more records, but also earn them new fans. I\'d be happy to be one of those, and even happier to award the band\'s future releases more flattering grades. In any case, a self-titled album is considered to mark the album of a band\'s career, and with these eleven songs Bury Your Dead may have achieved just that, for better or worse.


Download: Hands to Hide the Shame, Fever Dream, Infidel\'s Hymn, Angel With A Dirty Face
For the fans of: Bleeding Through, Emmure, Kingdom of Sorrow
Listen: Myspace

Release date 18.03.2008

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