It’s strange to think that back in 2011, Bury Tomorrow were strongly considering giving it all up. Being left without a label and very little money following pressure to adjust who they were, and even to move out and base themselves in North America, the Southampton quintet were on the brink of demise. Yet, here we are, now 10 years into a band who are – in the grand scheme of things – still so young in their careers, and with album number four, ‘Earthbound’; a record that truly sees them flourish from another potential paint-by-numbers metalcore act into one of the elite of the genre in the UK.
Whilst ‘The Union Of Crowns’ asserted the band were far from down for the count, and features one of the genre’s strongest choruses this side of 2010 in ‘Lionheart’, the band’s last effort ‘Runes’ was an ambitious and exciting idea for a record in theory, but in practice didn’t really build much from their previous, and didn’t hold very much replay value.
Picking up from here, ‘Earthbound’ is far stronger, darker, and vicious; the heavier parts are abundantly heavier, the choruses are more prominent and memorable, and instrumentally this is an A game effort from all members. From opener ‘The Eternal’, the chugging riffs Jason Cameron and Kristan Dawson, pummelling double-kick drum of Adam Jackson and tyrant roar from frontman Dani Winter-Bates sounds like we’re a battalion being led into a warzone, and we’re all for being a part of the charge.
Dani implements far more use of high screams throughout this album than we’ve seen before, and it really adds an extra dimension to things than the mid-range roars and low growls we’ve become so accustom to. In the vocal department, Cameron also becomes a far more interesting prospect, most notably in ‘Memories’ and crescendo-tastic ‘Restless & Cold’. Indeed, we’ve always known Cameron to have some decent pipes on him, but sadly thus far the melodies which are implemented into the tracks for him to deliver are either hit-or-miss. The balance between the two and their vocal deliveries pair off so much better than they ever have before.
Whilst we also see each member strengthening their crafts and putting them to better use, there’s also some subtle yet effective experimentation here and there which really sees Bury Tomorrow come out swinging. ‘301’ has a definite aggressive punk vibe, aided by a guest spot from Hatebreed vocalist Jamey Jasta, a rather While She Sleeps-esque male choir/chant makes an appearance in ‘The Burden’, and somewhat pop-y vocal overlays towards the tail-end of ‘Memories’ all prove themselves to be just a few prominent highlights of this record.
‘Earthbound’ is undoubtedly a 10-track arsenal that sees Bury Tomorrow in full stride, and secures them as one of the – if not the very – brightest gem in the crown of British metalcore. If nothing else, this record helps pin the story that giving up is never an option. This Southampton outfit have risen from a bleak time when there was little hope of a future for them, reared themselves from barking pups into savage roaring beasts, and more than capable to trample underfoot all who stand in their way.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)