14 October 2015

Burials - The View From Here Is Beautiful, But The Air Is So Thin

Welcome to another round of cover roulette!!! What a picture we have here for you dear reader! The stark image with the grainy and damaged landscape with four nails carved into the image looks like the darkest day of your life has arrived and those four nails are your only exit strategy.  As images go, it is up there with the best of the year.  Anyway, now for a little bit of background about Burials; they come from Bristol/Bath and this five piece formed in 2010.  Burials combining elements of metal and hardcore to create a noise that is (according to their Facebook & Bandcamp) a powerful, emotive sound. This is their first album after an EP and two singles that have previously been released.  I am expecting something akin to misery from the cover and with the wailing and gnashing of teeth that the bible is so found of mentioning.

"In Medias Res" starts with a lone guitar hammering away at a hardcore riff, as the rest of the band explode into a slow, grinding riff as the vocals are screamed over this explosive number which sounds like the war has just started, the rain is pouring as the fighting starts and all of heaven and hell are preparing to commence in battle.  It is over before you know it, but it is a brilliant opening track.  Second track "Gloaming" was released as a single in April 2015 to herald the upcoming album, it starts with a quick drum roll and then develops into a fast pace hardcore number which rattles past at a brutal pace.  It reminds me of Comeback Kid in a few ways, there is a hardcore punk vibe to the riff and interplay that is familiar sound that will be welcomed by a lot of people.  It is a decent number, it is a hard and heavy song - but it is not as grabbing as "In Medias Res" to be honest.  The third track is "I've Been Trying To Leave" is more of the same, but with a message of misery and anger that will resonates with people a lot more than some will admit. It is another hardcore number, albeit at a slower pace and it grinds along with a tone of loud riffs, explosive drums and thunderous bass lines that combine to create a song that works on a lot of levels as it sounds like a primal release. 

"I Should Have Been A Pair Of Ragged Claws" is another slow number that chugs along with menace and sinister intentions that is Burials main calling card, by this point you are getting used to what the band is all about - strong riffs, a bass that could level a show and drums that will leave ringing in your ears for days afterwards.  It is one of the strongest numbers on the album, it is certainly up there in terms of brutality on this record as well.  "It Happening To Us" brings speed back into the mix with a stop/start song uses the gaps between the riffs to create more tension to the song.  Much like "Gloaming" it is a very good song, but it is not as grabbing as the previous song "I Should Have Been A Pair Of Ragged Claws".  "Dusty Corners" has a strange loops at the beginning of the song, with notes mixing around as if floating through a fog and then it opens up to an atmospheric number with held back guitars and a gentle rhythm section - you are awaiting the explosion that eventually comes and by the time you reach the end, you also realise that this is also an instrumental track and it does more good for the album than some people will appreciate.  It is a song that should be listened to a lot, it is a really great track.

 Business picks back up in an explosive way with "Loathe" and it flat out, speed trash/hardcore/screamo noise that aims for the horizon and does not really slow down until another atmospheric section is dropped in the middle of the song (probably so the band can catch their collective breath) as they get ready to start again and make some more glorious noise.  "Draw Back Your Hands" is another slowed down song that goes for the jugular, heart and brain at the same time.  It has every section of what the band have delivered so far on show in this song - it has the shoegazing guitar tone, the powerful riff noise, the thumping bass and drums which can be as gentle as angels when needs (probably just for a few seconds mind you, but it is there) and a voice that can level a battlefield if needed.  The penultimate song is called "Wonder" and it is a machine-gun drumming number that goes between various emotions for the audience and it feels as if it is a clam period before the storm, as if it is going to be building up to a full explosion and you are pausing for that final breath towards the descent.  The ending track "Satis" starts with a slow strumming and a spoken word that goes against what the initial feeling of the song should be, it is gentle and with haunting guitars in back ground.  The vocals get louder, the drums start to kick in and then the eventual storm hits, but it is tainted with sadness along the way.  It is an emotive ending to the album, as if all the anger has been spent and now the healing can begin.

It would have been impossible for this album to have been as explosive from beginning to end, but it takes you on a different journey if we are honest.  It goes from answer to despair, then from bewilderment to a sort of acceptance of the world around them.  It is an album that is good example of the genre and a well-produced record.  I prefer the first half of the record to the second, but overall it is a very good record which lives up to the promise of the cover.

7 out of ten - this is good and well worth checking out

Top track - I Should Have Been A Pair Of Ragged Claws

You can purchase the album from Amazon here

You can purchase the album from the Burials Bandcamp page here

You can follow the activities of Burials on Facebook here

You can stream the album on Spotify here

You can stream the album on Deezer here

You can stream the album on Tidal here

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