Monday, November 11, 2013

Artist of the Day: After the Burial

After the Burial is not a throwaway metalcore band. Despite having a name that could be confused with one, the music that this technical powerhouse churns out is mature and furious. Taking the technical deathcore genre in a different direction than their Sumerian label mates Veil of Maya allows After the Burial to carve out their own niche of niche sound, while ultimately making their mind bending music more accessible to average metal fans.

The Twin Cities collective take a melodic metalcore sound and fuse it with the progressive technical elements of djent and deathcore. Combing through stop-start drum-guitar syncopations, After the Burial wield their instruments like magical wands. Atmospheric soundscapes pan over breakneck time signature then switch to violent guitar tapping. Rough screams mesh with the beat of the music until an outburst from vocalist Anthony Notarmaso spits quick lines of ferocity before turning to gnarly shrieks. Not just another "core" or "scene" band, After the Burial are making a name for themselves and it's one that can be respected.

The band's first release Forging A Future Self features original vocalist Nick Wellner and drummer Greg Erickson. The mixing of the album is raw and metallic, less processed than from their later releases. Despite being an older album that suffers from the inconsistencies of a band's first foray into a full-length, it features some fan favorites such as "A Steady Decline" and "Fingers Like Daggers." Select songs have been recorded on an EP in 2013 that showcase some of the best moments of Forging A Future Self. Rareform is the band's second release and their breakout album with their signature blend of Meshuggah-style riffings. The original release used programmed drums, though a subsequent rerelease with newly recorded live drums from 2009 ups the ante of heaviness. The Egyptian leaning sounds of "Cursing Akhenaten" are a memorable part of the album, while "Drifts" features one of the heaviest and headbang worthy breakdowns heard in the genre within the final minute. "Rareform" nods Meshuggah in a more obvious manner, while "A Vicious Reforming of Features" blurs metalcore with the technical prowness of future legends.

In Dreams shows the band advancing along their own path, straying a little further from the deathcore towards a more metalcore sound. "Your Troubles Will Cease and Fortune Will Smile Upon You" is a bouncy track filled with open moments as guitars churn like gears. "Bread Crumbs and White Stones" throws all of the band's influences at the wall: crazy guitar tapping, thrashing hardcore d-beat style underpinnings that give way to breakdowns before making a U-turn back to time signature land. "Promises Kept" features an airy, singable choruses and a more atmospheric vibe overall that opens the band to a wider audience, a path the band is sure to explore on their upcoming album, Wolves Within.

Technically speaking, the musicians that make up After the Burial are quite talented. As a collective, After the Burial is an even greater force. Their hybrid metal-djent creates a progressive wave of distortion and almost mechanized rhyhtms. As a result, songs appear longer than that actually are. The band are geniuses within this genre, and Wolves Within is sure to showcase how they have evolved their sound once again. Until then, check out the brand-new track "A Wolf Amongst Ravens." It blends their organic space sounds with an electronic intro before dropping into a mechanical throw down. As far as technical metalcore goes, After the Burial is a force to be reckoned with and one that will soon become one of the biggest names in metal — just you wait and see.


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