Returning with their sixth record ‘Cannibal’, British metalcore quintet Bury Tomorrow continue to refine the template they set for themselves with their previous LP, ‘Black Flame’.
Whilst the record doesn’t stray too far away from the well worn path, even one they’ve trodden thus far, the quintet stomp through a multitude of techniques and structures to ensure that ‘Cannibal’ doesn’t lose its momentum.
Opening with Kristan Dawson‘s dizzying lead guitar on ‘Choke’, vocalist Daniel Winter-Bates delivers rough and ready growls alongside James Cameron‘s soaring clean choruses. Moving through chugging verses and melodic breaks, the track starts the record off with an energetic run through the metalcore rule book. Whilst it becomes clear that Bury Tomorrow are well aware of the genre’s tropes, the title-track displays their willingness to play with its structure as Daniel and Cameron switch focus.
Granted, the record doesn’t attempt to re-invent the genre, but lead single ‘The Grey (VIXI)’ displays an effective and evolving journey through chugging breakdowns, wide choruses, loose grooves and razor sharp screams. Held together by the group’s secret weapon in Adam Jackson‘s dynamic choice of drum patterns, the song highlights how skilled the group have become at their niche.
Proving that each track on the record has something to offer, the deceiving ‘Imposter’ slides in a devastating breakdown during its bridge, whilst ‘Better Below’ blends melodic guitars and raw vocals seamlessly – a technique that in lesser hands can be messy and ineffective.
Giving respite with the mid-paced ‘Quake’, not only does Cameron have a chance to showcase his range, but the impact of Daniel and the inclusion of a lingering guitar solo are heightened. Picking things back up with the swinging and double kick heavy ‘Gods & Machines’ proves to be a late addition highlight. Boasting multiple hooks, malleable structuring and breakneck pace, the track imbues the hunger of a less road worn group.
As the record draws near an end, the precise and sharp ‘Voice & Truth’ melds octave runs with thrash inflected riffs before unfurling a melodically ascending bridge. Not wasting time, ‘Cold Sleep’ dives into blast beats with glee, whilst closer ‘Dark, Infinite’ breathlessly runs through the group’s strengths one last time.
With ‘Cannibal’, Bury Tomorrow lean on their strengths and tighten up the more meandering elements of previous records to create a direct yet effective metalcore album. Whilst the lack of progression may be disappointing to some, the record does deliver a cohesive and solid collection of tracks.