Bury Tomorrow The Seventh Sun
The idea that suffering makes great art doesn't mean that every artist wants to suffer to create a masterpiece. This must ring especially true for melodic metalcore stalwarts Bury Tomorrow, who released their previous album Cannibal in June of 2020 with no ability to tour on the material and subsequently parted ways with one of their founding members (Jason Cameron, who handled rhythm guitar and clean vocals). Such things can and have put an untimely end to numerous musical projects. Pushing forward with a new lineup to record The Seventh Sun may have been a difficult decision, but it turned out to be the right one for this English sextet. They sound positively rejuvenated and ready to make a statement.
Indeed, Bury Tomorrow's seventh (!) full-length wastes little time getting to the point, with such a focused approach it is hard to fault any stylistic choices on a personal level; it all simply works so well in context. The band also knows the power of pacing across an entire tracklist, maintaining a constant synergy between epic ballads, straightforward fist-pumping anthems, and uptempo crushers. Granted, some later cuts could make the mind wander until a solo pops up ("Heretic") or a particularly angry outburst catches you off guard ("Care"). That being said, none of these songs are filler; each piece fits snugly in its place while retaining enough of a unique identity to reward attentive listening.
While most classic metalcore lives and dies by the riff, Bury Tomorrow's new incarnation shows perhaps the most divergence from tradition in this department. These tracks don't just settle on a cycle of "riff-A four times, riff-B four times, repeat". This is not to imply there's anything inherently wrong with such methods, nor are riffs really the central focus here. Instead, guitarists Kristan Dawson and Ed Hartwell seem to operate on a "work smarter, not harder" method, which is to say they never overplay! Don't mistake this approach for cheap simplicity, as these two incorporate enough intricate picking patterns to satiate the guitar community—it's just that they are clearly uninterested in showing off at the expense of other instruments and voices.
Speaking of vocals, one can expect obligatory verse/chorus alternations between harsh and clean styles from Daniel Winter-Bates and newcomer Tom Pendergast, but with enough twists and turns to keep things fresh across all eleven tracks. Any attempts at Korn-isms in this day and age could be seen as dated—specifically to certain sects of the metal and hardcore communities—but the way such inflections are utilized on this record is so seamless as to appear congruent with both old-school sensibilities and current tastes. Even the near-rapping cadences in "Abandon Us" manage to avoid cheesiness.
As for production, the prerequisite modern standards of heavy music are naturally in full effect here. Thankfully, the guitars aren't fighting with the bass drum for dominance and everything seems to occupy an appropriate frequency range to maximize the chug factor. Keyboards and effect layers are applied liberally, but with a keen ear (or ears) for purposeful implementation. One slight negative is the cymbal crashes, which tend to get washed out during sections with the most musical activity. And although it does bolster the futurist aesthetic that is practically intrinsic to this subgenre, some may still find the ultra-polished mastering job a little too squeaky clean.
Bottomline: Bury Tomorrow truly seemed to put their best foot forward with The Seventh Sun in a way that should at least give pause to those who scoff at any mention of "big things coming" or "our most mature work yet". Their songwriting speaks for itself and transcends genre lines without coming off as forced. Excellent work from start to finish, especially the phenomenal closer "The Carcass King".
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