Friday, 27 July 2012

Review: Bury Tomorrow - The Union of Crowns

 It isn't surprising that some people have come to the final judgement that "intelligent" and "metalcore" can't appear in the same sentence. Acts like Suicide Silence (as fun as they are) Emmure and Annotations of An Autopsy have become successful by taking the real skill out of the genre which has implied the notion in metalcore that how talented you are is measured only by how "br00t4l" your breakdowns are, which in various cases don't even sound that heavy, and then become respected because they start massive circle pits whenever they play live. It doesn't require much thought.

 It seems unfair then for Hampshire quintet Bury Tomorrow to be lumped in with this lot because musically, they stand on a much higher ground than all these bands combined. For proof, just inspect the strength of their second album The Union of Crowns, an album which frontman Daniel Winter-Bates essentially displayed his sense of dislike-ness for the kind of bands mentioned above and promised that his band had something much better on offer. Right he was.

 With tracks like A Message to the King, An Honourable Reign and Abdication of Power making use of regal metaphors to relate with personal events, Bury Tomorrow aren't afraid to take their songwriting into deeper and more conceptual levels than fellow bands. Well, Emmure did that video game themed album, but I'll take this any day.

 But with their musical promise to set themselves apart from their peers by being heavier on record rather than just live is the total highlight of The Union of Crowns. And even within this lies their greater mindset for crafting songs. The band prove without any difficulty that when it comes to making straight out brutality on their songs, they can put their fellow bands to shame. Knight Life and Sceptres pounce to life with electrifying breakdowns injected by venomous fury and deathly venom through the monstrous growling of Bates and the riff-storm that rhythm guitarist Jason Cameron conjures up.

 But there's so much more to Bury Tomorrow than that, particularly where the more melodic element of their music and Cameron's clean vocal duties are unleashed, particularly on the likes of Lionheart and 1603, at that point, the emotional output is just as heavy as the ongoing guitar chugging. Cameron's vocals are almost indescribable in how amazing they are and will in time serve as a factor to make Bury Tomorrow leaders of metalcore everywhere. The actual effort made in the use of lead guitar from Mehdi Vismara, who provides the highlight to album closer A Curse by giving us the best guitar solo of 2012. However, his echoey lead work throughout the album gives it that extra layer of atmospheric grace.

 As much as I love a lot of metalcore artists that have made it big in recent times, the performance on The Union of Crowns puts every other band to shame. With a sound that is more atmospheric, more immersive and more crushingly heavy than any other band suing only guitars drums and vocals, Bury Tomorrow prove they can deliver something stronger than any band with  keyboards and auto-tuned vocals, especially when compared to the vocal talents of Daniel Winter-Bates and Jason Cameron. Along with While She Sleeps, Bury Tomorrow are going to become new leaders of metalcore and will have a standards that will be hard to match.

Bury Tomorrow's The Union of Crowns is out now via Nuclear Blast. The band will perform at Burnout Festival at The George Inn, Andover on 28th July, Hevy Music Festival at Port Lympne Wild Animal Parkon 4th August, Vans Warped Tour at Alexandra Palace, London on 10th November and will tour the UK in November with Architects, Deez Nuts and The Acacia Strain.

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