REVIEW: BURY TOMORROW – “Earthbound”
January 29th marks the date for one of the first metal albums of 2016 and the fourth studio album by Bury Tomorrow. The album, ‘Earthbound’, kicks off what is looking to be an eventful year for the five piece British melodic metalcore band who formed in 2006 and have since been surfing the waves of the metal scene with no sign of getting caught beneath the water. With a short U.K tour already in place with Parkway Drive and Thy Art Is Murder to follow the album release, the response to ‘Earthbound’ is likely to set the tone for the bands year
Opening track “The Eternal” puts all initial nerves to rest. Thick guitars and heavily (in all senses of the word) layered verses with soaring, melodic choruses leave no room for disappointment. As a track on its own, as well as an album opener, “The Eternal” works equally well in both respects. Follow up track “Last Light,” following a similar formula, but with edgier choruses and a bridge section that would not be out of place in any Killswitch Engage song, also works well even if influences are heavily apparent. However the track is by no means a let-down.
Title track and lead single, “Earthbound” feels like both the album and band have upped their game at this point. As lead single it shows maturity in the songwriting, including a catchy hook riff, a clean guitar/vocal bridge as well as being a peak moment among the rest of the album. Indeed, at this point it’s pleasing to say that ‘Earthbound’ continues to better itself with each track. If they should release another single, “The Burden” should definitely be considered as the second single to follow. At the very least it should be included in every set list as it contains an intense and anthemic sound throughout that needs to be played past the point of mere headphones.
So far so very, very good. But neither musically nor lyrically does next track, “Cemetery” do the album (or band) any favours. In the melodic metalcore sub genre, there is a kind of house style that gets old quick and any sense of individuality fades with it. Up to this point the core elements of the genre were present but it was exciting to see Bury Tomorrow put their own spin and mark on them. Maybe B.T wanted to do straight up metalcore for a minute. Either way, seen and heard it before. It won’t be blowing minds any time soon.
The middle man or halfway point found in “Cemetery” should have been cut out leaving no room between one great track and another. “Restless & Cold” hits hard on the music front and finds the album at its highest point lyrically. A nice save, a good comeback and a great track. “301” has a pull, and although it features one of the best choruses to be found on the album, the verses revert back to the sub-genre stereotypes. Then there is the bridge. Oh, the bridge. As if a list were composed of some of the most ridiculous, adolescent things that could be said during teenage bickering and shouted into a microphone. It is hard to imagine why a band with evident talent would give the green light for this to make the final cut. Thankfully their evident talent again shines through on “Memories” as the band play through what could have been another real contender for the albums leading single. If you are someone who searches for that moment on an album, it is found here in “Memories”.
The album closes on what again seem to be very influence heavy tracks. Both tracks, “For Us” and album closer “Bloodline” mirror the playing styles of Killswitch, which if that was what we wanted we would have gone to actually listen to Killswitch. The quick fade-out closing “Bloodline” leaves the album feeling a little rushed at the end and you get the sense that what could have been an all killer no filler powerhouse was rushed to meet a deadline.
Some twists and turns, some ups and some downs, some influences and some individuality, ‘Earthbound’ is certainly varied. Although there are some lulls that might not quite work as much as they hoped, points when they should have stuck to their guns as opposed to mirroring the playing styles of others, Bury Tomorrow have not produced a bad album. In fact they have produced a damn good album with more than a few potential singles that feels like the band they are growing into is about to burst out any day now! A little nurturing and some T.L.C from the right source of guidance and this could well happen for with Earthbound,’ Bury Tomorrow show glimpses of just how good they can be. They should simply trust that just a bit more.