Earthbound - Bury Tomorrow
By Barnaby Britten
For 3 full-lengths and 2 EPs, Bury Tomorrow have carved out their niche as the UK’s answer to the likes of Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying and Parkway Drive. They play energetic, no nonsense melodic metalcore, combining chugging riffs, melodeath inspired leads, sweetly sung choruses and mosh-friendly breakdowns.
On what is their fourth full-length album, Earthbound, Bury Tomorrow rarely dip more than a precautionary toe into more experimental waters beyond this familiar formula. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and they certainly do this a lot better than some of their contemporaries. The guitars are one of two integral parts of Bury Tomorrow’s sound on this album and they do their job adequately. The aforementioned leads are probably the most gratifying aspect of the dual guitar attack. It is hard not to enjoy the combination of a jagged low-end riff layered with torrid tapping as can be heard at the end of “Cemetery”. The guitarists also do well to avoid the crutch of open note breakdowns which they had been prone to on previous releases, and when they do appear it is normally well transitioned.
The other foundation upon which the band build their music is the vocals. They continue with the combination of Daniel Winter-Bates’ screams and guitarist Jason Cameron’s croons that has been utilised since their first EP and undoubtedly both are competent at what they do. Winter-Bates’ has a satisfyingly brutal mid range roar, but it would be good to hear more of the guttural lows and high pitch shrieks that he only occasionally makes use of. Clean vocalist Jason Cameron is also clearly a talented singer and he doesn’t fall foul to the whiny tendency that so often epitomises clean vocals in metalcore. The lyrical content, however, which ranges from cringeworthy to passable, leaves a little to be desired. This, coupled with the appearance of a chorus repeated at least once on every single track can make the album a chore to listen to in its entirety, especially given the prominence of the vocals in Bury Tomorrow’s approach.
It is this sense of repetitiveness that really holds Bury Tomorrow back on Earthbound. While the album maintains an urgent tempo from the beginning with the thundering double bass drumming on opener “The Eternal”, this track showcases much, if not all, of what is to come over the next 36 minutes. There are not necessarily any terrible tracks but standouts are few and far between. The title-track is probably the catchiest cut on offer here, and Jamey Jasta's appearance on “301” is a refreshing contrast to Daniel Winter-Bates’ relentless roar. Other than that, memorable moments are at a premium.
Ultimately, Bury Tomorrow offer up a consistent and slick slab of melodic metalcore with Earthbound, but unfortunately do little to keep things from becoming forgettable.