Review Summary: After The Burial trades in some of their more progressive leanings for Meshuggah-esque crushing heaviness, and the result is damn fine.
After The Burial have always been one of the more respected names in deathcore, bringing forth some of the genre's most technical and melodic work in their earlier efforts. With a solid vocalist taking their old (much worse) one's place, the band's re-recording of Rareform
drew a lot of attention to the band and also built a decent amount of hype for the follow up, In Dreams
. It does not disappoint.
The biggest parallell that can be drawn to the band are the chug-happy methods of metal contemporaries Meshuggah. While the core of the album is in fact relentless chugging and polyrhythms, ATB do a few things to make In Dreams
not just a Meshuggah ripoff, which this very well could have been.
ATB displayed an affinity for not only crushing brutality brought on by chugging and a lot of breakdowns, but also a melodic side found in some truly epic guitar solos, more than competent competent sweeps and other guitar wanketry, and a lot of intricate lead work that brought the album together in a nice little deathcore package.
Not much has changed since then, but this release sees ATB implementing a lot more chug and jun with a lot less melody. The over the top guitar flourishes and solos are still here, as are the breakdowns, but they are fewer and further between, which in the breakdown case is a good thing for most. There are still a great deal of breakdowns, but unlike their retarded cousin the bro-down, these actually use some thoughtful structure and complicated rhythms.
The end result is a much more groovy Meshuggah with, and here's the factor that will allow most to enjoy this album much more so than any of ATB's older albums and maybe even more than some of Meshuggah's stuff... the vocals are killer. The new vocalist, showcased on Rareform
's re-recording has really found his niche here, bellowing out monstorus growls and screams that complement the heavy nature of the album perfectly. The introduction of clean vocals is also a (surprisingly) good surprise, used sparingly and to add atmosphere to some of the album's tracks.
Oh and speaking of the album's tracks, there are only eight, and In Dreams
clocks in at a paltry 34 minutes. This might agitate some but personally the brevity of the album only helps it, because as anyone who has sat through a Meshuggah album will tell you, an hour of relentless chugging and brootalz is a little too much for anyone but the most seasoned metalhead. Pick up In Dreams
for yet another taste of good 2010 deathcore, surpassing this year's other best genre offering, The Contortionist's Exoplanet.