It’s bewildering that my first exposure with Bury Tomorrow was hearing vocalist Dani Bates on Attack Attack’s “Lonely” in 2010. Soon after, I followed Bury Tomorrow with pensive interest as they released a steady stream of noteworthy albums, like The Union of Crowns and Earthbound. Now, the band is at record #6, with Cannibal seeking to complement the already-impressive discography.
Bury Tomorrow’s UK metalcore counterparts, such as Architects and While She Sleeps, made a name for themselves with an expansive, diverse backlog. This band is no exception, with a breadth of differentiation to make each album a unique listen. Cannibal achieves this as the guitars engage in tapping riffs, breakdown runs, and everything in-between. Dani’s uncleans are on par with his cleans, crafting memorable choruses in “Choke” and “Better Below.”
The key lyrical focus at hand is mental health, which Dani has been outspoken of in the past: “I talk to people about normalizing mental health so how can I write an album where I’m not talking about mental health? The normalization of mental health is what saves lives. I want people to see the light in the dark. If they delve into that they can find solace in the discussion, the normalization, the positive action by discussing this.” A noble stance, and one that is always needed in the scene.
In a performative sense, Cannibal is a mature, masterful effort that serves as proof that Bury Tomorrow knows what works in a modern metalcore album. However, it isn’t going to set the scene ablaze, as it’s missing the “it-factor” that the aforementioned bands have. The band plays it safe in adhering to genre guidelines, not opting to experiment or step outside of their comfort zone, so there’s a lot of instances on Cannibal where one song will sound too much like another.
From the outside, I need to acknowledge just how gorgeous the album art is, as well. I’ve seen shots of what the CD inserts look like, too, and I’m blown away, so props go out to Adam Burke. In addition, the mixing/mastering job from the same team behind Architects’ Holy Hell ensures Bury Tomorrow is sounding large and in charge.
While Cannibal isn’t in my album-of-the-year discussion, it was worth the listen and is more than qualified for a heavy playlist. Highlight tracks are “The Agonist” and “Quake” for their versatility and replayability. I’d imagine this would be a really fun record to learn on guitar, so be on the lookout for tabs in the future. Bury Tomorrow’s Cannibal releases tomorrow, July 3rd!
A press copy of Cannibal was provided courtesy of Atom Splitter PR.