1. No Less Violent
3. Black Flame
4. My Revenge
5. More Than Mortal
6. Knife Of Gold
7. The Age
Before delving into this review, we need to go back to 2011. I met my wife that year who got me back into Metal, which I hadn't listened to for a long while. She would play me all sorts of bands she liked and drag me to gigs in some interesting places, all of which brought me out of my comfort zone. I had never really listened to Metalcore or any other -core before we'd met and to be honest, I wasn't that impressed at first (which she's all too quick to remind me of now, of course). There was this one particular gig at a dingy little venue in Stoke, called The Underground, that changed all of this. As with a lot of smaller gigs, (a practice I would soon learn about myself) the supporting bands played and as the main act came on, the friends and fans of these local heroes dispersed, leaving a handful of people in room that felt a lot bigger than it actually was. However, when Bury Tomorrow stepped out on stage, it was easy to see their trajectory in the music scene. Having seen them more times than I care to count between now and then, these lads never failed to give their audience an unforgettable performance, whether it was 14 people in a bar in Stoke, or 1400 people at Slam Dunk Festival in Leeds. With a solid back catalogue of albums released, it is easy to see how they have made a name for themselves in a genre that it could be considered difficult to find success in.
Back to the present, the Southampton-based quintet dropped their fifth studio album 'Black Flame' last month and it’s another one to add to the collection. The opening track, 'No Less Violent' has an explosive intro, it's a definite set-opener. I feel like this track reflects the band's evolution from their previous albums, yet they aren't straying too far from home. As you make your way into 'Adrenaline', it seems like a very apt song title; Kristan Dawson and Jason Cameron provide a djenty riff that steps up your heart rate instantly. Cameron's signature cleans are gruff and powerful, complementing Dani Winter-Bates' raspy growl. By the time you make your way into the album-named track 'Black Flame', you are fully invested in this album. It is reminiscent of their earlier album 'Union Of Crowns', with the fast paced riffs, thundering drums and catchy clean melodies. Even when the tempo changes going into 'My Revenge', Adam Johnson sets the tone and mood with immaculate drum technique. It’s rare that a band can maintain such a power throughout an album despite tempo changes, which further emphasises how hard the BT boys have worked to carve out their place within the British Rock and Metal scene.
The latter part of the album begins to become more diverse, with tracks like 'More Than Mortal' bringing ramped up breakdowns that are a must-see live, as well as 'Overcast', which has a different dynamic to the rest of the entire album; it almost feels like the Metalcore equivalent of a ballad. My favourite track on the album is 'Stormbringer', where I feel that Winter-Bates hits his stride, vocal-wise. His deeper growls tap into his stronger sound in previous albums, which is difficult to achieve as it is quite common for unclean vocals to change over time. The bass-line is also much more prominent in this track, you can hear Davyd Winter-Bates’ string slap distinctly throughout which I love. In a genre where commonly it is the bassists’ sole function to “thicken out the riff”, it is refreshing to hear something a bit more substantial from our four-stringed friends. It cuts through the wall of sound and I look forward to seeing this track live in particular.
All in all, it’s a solid, ten-track flex of Metalcore muscle. Do I think that this is their best album to date? Sorry boys, but it’s a no; my heart still belongs to 'Portraits'. Do I think that this is an album you need to hit up this Summer? Abso-friggin-lutely. Do I think that Bury Tomorrow are the best British band to have broken through and redefined the international Metal community? I bloody do, actually.
Website - https://www.bury-tomorrow.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/BuryTomorrow/
Review - Cee Gregory