After the Burial
In Dreams


3.5
great

Review

by Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration USER (56 Reviews)
November 30th, 2010 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: ATB discover that they have the ability to write a coherent, structured song.

After the Burial's sophmore release Rareform was an album that practically defined the phrase "mixed bag." It was a record that was characterized by a few moments of absolute deathcore brilliance tempered by a truckload of mediocre songwriting and mindless instrumental wanking without a regard for coherence. Tracks like Aspiration remain some of the most brilliant deathcore songs in existence, but unfortunately, the record was overall too inconsistent to be truly called exceptional.

With the Minnesota deathcore quintet's third release In Dreams, they seem to be making an honest effort to weed out the flaws that plagued their last album. Instead of the constant barrage of breakdowns and sweeps that they are known for, the songs on here have a stronger sense of purpose and coherence. Opener My Frailty is the best of both worlds. It begins with an uncompromisingly brutal 8-string groove, but also showcases the band's newfound sense of melody with some slower, almost hummable parts. These show up at various places throughout the album, and are sometimes complemented by a sparse use of clean vocals. These cleans are something the band has never tried before, and they work in that they aren't overused but there's enough of them to effect the songwriting and structure in a positive way. There has also been tremendous improvement in the realm of harsh vocals. Just as the re-recording of Rareform had better vocals than the original, this album shows the band's second vocalist reaching new heights. The highs, lows, and mids are all significantly better: the mids are less shouty, the highs are less screechy, and the lows are more intense than ever before.

As always, ATB has some of the most awesome breakdowns in the business: tightly produced Meshuggah-esque polyrythmic chugfests that will make even the most disillusioned deathcore hater smile. It's hard to pick out just a couple highlights, as there are a hell of a lot of them. This, depending on your views on the genre, could be a good thing or a bad thing, but it remains certain that they are always well-executed and catchy, whether they are necessary or not. Aside from the breakdowns, the guitarwork is great, if not awe-inspiring. As mentioned before, they steer clear of the overt wankage that they've used before and instead opt for more coherent riffs, without sacrificing technicality. They even show that they can be catchy without using breakdowns: closer Encased in Ice doesn't have a single real breakdown, but it is probably the most likely track on the album to get stuck in your head.

Musically, this album is miles better than anything the band has ever done before: it's more consistent, it's written better, and the vocals (all four styles) are markedly improved. But it still has a few glaring weaknesses. One is the production: it's tighter and clearer than ever before, but it's almost too tight and clear. It almost sound choppy at points, which might work for other styles of music, but it's not nearly as good for the band's music as was the more bass-heavy tone on Rareform. Also, the consistency of the album can, at times be a problem. Every track here is good (unlike on previous albums), but that's all they are: good. This album lacks an Aspiration. While everything is improved, the flashes of absolute brilliance shown on songs like Aspiration and in the final minute of Cursing Akenaten never show up here, and are sacrificed for a more stable approach. This is less of a flaw than it is a sign of progression. This album still fails to meet the brilliance that After the Burial are quite obviously capable of, but it's a necessary step in the right direction. As long as they remain on the path of progression, they could easily make a deathcore classic. It's simply a matter of time.

Album Highlights
My Frailty
Your Troubles Will Cease and Fortune Will Smile Upon You
Encased In Ice




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user ratings (714)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Alexandre Hamel (4)
    A fun album at its core, "In Dreams" is an enjoyable record to say the least, and it oblig...

    YetAnotherBrick (2.5)
    Consistently underwhelming, and not really as "progressive" as it makes itself out to be....

    Kevin Ho (3.5)
    After the Burial manage to write a solid followup to Rareform free of any previous inconsi...

    Neenahskater (4.5)
    Overall good CD worth Checking out if your into the modern Death Metal Scene...

  • Comatorium. (4)
    After The Burial trades in some of their more progressive leanings for Meshuggah-esque cru...


Comments:Add a Comment 
wyankeif1337
November 30th 2010


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I still don't know whether I like this or Rareform better. As always, suggestions are appreciated.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
November 30th 2010


17222 Comments


i hated rareform but kit told me to check this out, so i will.

ipunchscenekids
November 30th 2010


202 Comments


they are both such huge letdowns and wasted potential, just in different ways

bloc
November 30th 2010


34915 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Pretty darn good

Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 30th 2010


10611 Comments


Great review. The other review was good as well, but his insistence on talking about the "chugging" really put me off? How disgustingly ''chuggy'' is this?

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

bloc
November 30th 2010


34915 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Not super chuggy; it's chuggy to the point where it becomes groovy.

DropShotDrumRoll
November 30th 2010


4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Where in gods name are you hearing cleans in my frailty?
And it's not the first time ATB have used cleans, listen to fingers like daggers. I probably sound like I'm being nitpicky right now but hell it's constructive criticism, they've had 3 vocalists since they started. Anthony is the third. But good review

A7XEric
November 30th 2010


310 Comments


Can't say it enough, but this band would be so sick if they ditched all of their faux-meshuggah riffs and stupid one note non-palm muted breakdowns and concentrated on shredding instead.

elephantREVOLUTION
November 30th 2010


2757 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Can't say it enough, but you would be so sick if you ditched the a7x in your username

Derkyle
November 30th 2010


188 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Only thing that's worth anything on this album is Your Troubles Will Cease And Fortune Will Smile Upon You. The inclusion of the cleans ruins a few of the songs and a bunch of other songs come across as lazy metalcore.

wyankeif1337
November 30th 2010


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I could've sworn that My Frailty had cleans, but I went back to it, and you're right. Thanks, fixed.

canatunaman
December 1st 2010


265 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

your troubles is a good jam... theory wise, it has some really interesting concepts

wyankeif1337
December 1st 2010


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

It'd be sweet to know who negged me and for what reason. Don't got a problem with negs as long as they're explained.

toolguitarkid
December 2nd 2010


263 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

such a boring album

canatunaman
December 2nd 2010


265 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

big adam jones fan?

toolguitarkid
December 3rd 2010


263 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

not really, this username is old/recycled.

canatunaman
December 3rd 2010


265 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

gotcha... hes got skills tho.

wyankeif1337
December 10th 2010


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Testing, testing...

DeathByAstonishment
October 13th 2012


269 Comments


This is a straight up fun album, no two ways about. Try not over intellectualize it.

AfterTheBreakdown
October 13th 2012


7153 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

seeing these guys in a few hours



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