Bury Tomorrow
Black Flame


2.5
average

Review

by Simon.K CONTRIBUTOR (208 Reviews)
July 14th, 2018 | 30 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Saved by the very thing that should've ruined it.

The longevity and persistent existence of some bands can be utterly bewildering to me at times. Some might scold the creatively ambitious for morphing and changing their sound, ostensibly to scratch an unfulfilled itch they couldn’t reach in their early, wet behind the ears days, but given how difficult it is to maintain status in this expansive music world it seems a lot of artists do it to keep just that. Many fail miserably at it of course, but I see admiration in their attempts nevertheless. Then there’s the type of band that repeats the same formula over and over again and somehow retains that same level of anticipation and buzz. I get it, some people don’t like change and enjoy hearing the same thing time and time again, but Bury Tomorrow is a pretty unique case, a group I’ve never fully understood the appeal of. They have their modus operandi and never want to move away from their safety blanket. Bury Tomorrow have that AC/DC quality to them where you know exactly what you’re going to get: a jaded contrast of harsh and clean vocal work, soaring high-frequency guitar passages and the typically inhabited metalcore traits of half-time chugging and fret-busy solos. But I’m not here to judge, they do this sound well, but there’s always been a chronic element to their writing that plays things far too safe and in the confinements of the melodic metalcore rulebook as if their lives depended on it. It just doesn’t sound all that exciting – at worst sounding corny and forced, at best conveying a half-convincing performance. The reality of the matter is I’ve listened to all their work slumped in a chair with a stoic expression on my face and walked away with complete indifference on what I’ve just heard.

Keeping to their code of continuity, differentiating Black Flame from Earthbound is a painstalking task where you’ll spend a number of rotation cycles looking for a red herring, concluding there isn’t anything different to be found. It’s business as usual for Bury Tomorrow, cooking up more of the same heart-wrenching, tear-jerking cleans and angsty gruff screams with the same orthodox technical instrumentation you’ve come to expect from the band. There’s a slight spike of interest coming from the guitar work at times, the Pantera grooved verses of “More Than Mortal” bring a slightly weightier meat than usual and “Stormbringer” has a nice enforced jagged attitude to its introduction, but honestly there’s barely a peppering of innovation waiting for you here. The pillars for this LP continue to use the rhythm section as their heavy linchpin, while twinkly guitar leads and gritty screams set the tone for any one of the tracks here before shifting into your typically cliché chorus of melancholic radio hooks. Oh, and there’s an abundance of solos to accompany these lethargic numbers. It doesn’t help that the vocal dynamic always damages the tonality of songs. “My Revenge”, for example, sets off with a mid-tempo riff and Jason’s washy cleans which then shift into a quicker pace of frantic drums, fiddley guitar fills and screams before going back into what it started with. I’ll admit, I find this kind of songwriting completely obnoxious, not only does it make every song a predictable exercise in waiting for the angry one to take over from the beautifully sung one, it has an emotional (I say emotional loosely, because I didn’t feel invested in anything being offered here.) pushing and pulling that ruins potentially solid ideas. The point being it’s this good vs evil theme in melodic metalcore that endures and when it comes to writing for either spectrum it can have a stop-start effect to songs, which is definitely a problem here and feels like a stitching of ideas all being sown together.

There was one aspect I found curiously entertaining about Black Flame though. A writing choice that left me baffled every time I went through the record again: the outros. These dangerous and boggling little segments stand as unnecessary and cumbersome weights to songs. You literally stand to gain nothing from these exiting passages. They don’t even setup the proceeding songs well – if anything they make the transitions worse. The problem stems from these parts feeling like an afterthought than a core theme and focus for Black Flame. “Black Flame” for instance has an outro of 1:30 seconds, consisting of spacey electronic ambience and Dan shouting ‘black flag’ repeatedly in the background. There’s absolutely no context for this change of pace, nor does it feel earned. You could argue these build-ups are a prelude to “Peacekeeper” and it’s closing minutes of ethereal post-rock influences but honestly, it’s a stretch of optimism. The sad thing about it is these eyesores were actually the most engaging parts of the entire album; so strangely put together and listening to them linger around for absolutely no reason was a breath of fresh air. It’s a tough one, everything here functions well, the musicianship is fantastic and it's clear these guys are talented, but there’s no risk involved where it should be. Compositions are so stagnant at this point it’s almost eye-rolling when you hear the songs. Obviously, if you enjoy what Bury Tomorrow do then this will gel with you, it’s aimed at existing fans and that’s fine, but for anyone else, when you’re finding more enjoyment from the U-turn ambience sections it speaks volumes for what this brings to the table.

AVERAGE.

FORMAT//EDITIONS: DIGITAL/̶/̶C̶D̶/̶/̶V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶/̶/̶V̶A̶R̶I̶O̶U̶S̶ ̶B̶U̶N̶D̶L̶E̶S̶

PACKAGING: N/A

SPECIAL EDITION: N/A

ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE: https://www.bury-tomorrow.com/



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Chart.
3.3
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
July 14th 2018


8768 Comments


Quite the reviewing machine Simon. Hoping to get some nostalgic feels from this one when I let the new Obscura stop underwhelming me.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
July 14th 2018


10308 Comments


"pain-stalking"

painstaking*

"Keeping continuity a code for the band"

hmm, not sure what was going on here but i assume you're missing a word or two

"heart-wrenching, tear-jerking cleans"

a little hyperbolic, no?

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 14th 2018


14570 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

How's that?



Hyperbolic, possibly, but it's to be taken in jest.

Digging: Iglooghost - Clear Tamei

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
July 14th 2018


10308 Comments


I figured it could go either way. As hyperbole it's a bit too far a stretch, but as a joke I just think it was a bit flat.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 14th 2018


14570 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i never was very good at jokes.



you jammed this? I recall you being a fan of these guys.

bloc
July 14th 2018


51329 Comments


Might be one or two catchy tracks on this thing, so I will check it out

Digging: Karate High School - The League Of Tomorrow

Ebola
July 14th 2018


3216 Comments


Is this as derivative and unmemorable as the rest of their catalog?

Digging: Leprous - Malina

NonApplicable
July 14th 2018


2581 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I liked this thing but I felt that it was held back by it's horribly sibilant production. It makes it really difficult to listen to string of songs without getting fatigued.

Devastator
July 14th 2018


3698 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I can fucks with this but the review is spot on.

Hellscythe
July 14th 2018


2825 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the first three albums these guys did were really fun, especially The Union of Crowns, but they've just totally plateaued with these last two albums. they've always been generic, but at least they wore it well. this is just boring.

GhostB1rd
July 14th 2018


1134 Comments


Black Flame is a good song.

Ponton
Emeritus
July 14th 2018


6356 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Really baffled by bands like this. Like do they go into a new album writing session and decide to do nothing new or progressive for their sound in any way? Not only that, but at least even try to come up with some strong melodies?

Digging: Hateform - Sanctuary in Abyss

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 15th 2018


14570 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks devastator.



@ebola

Yes



And agreed on the points of this being dull and derivative

Krvst
July 15th 2018


405 Comments


Great review, band haven't done anything interesting since union of crowns and that album wasn't even that good, they seem pretty content with being super average

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
July 15th 2018


14570 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

cheers buddy

Beardog
July 15th 2018


2048 Comments


band is stale af

JesperL
July 15th 2018


260 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

didn't expect to like this as much as I do, but this is by far their most focused and enjoyable record yet. Knife of Gold is fantastic.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
July 15th 2018


10308 Comments


"you jammed this? I recall you being a fan of these guys."

their first two are really solid and the last two have some good tracks but im not in any hurry to check this since they've been doing the exact same thing with diminishing returns since the start. Will probably check it at some point regardless but not particularly excited..

Durrzo
July 16th 2018


1574 Comments


First two albums are definitely their best. I'm so bored with their sound at this point. There are some good songs on here, but I heard them on the last album, and the one before that.

bloc
July 20th 2018


51329 Comments


Umm ma boissss this fuckin slaps



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