It’s easy to throw After the Burial’s sound in with all the other Sumerian-core band that were around 8-10 years ago all released on the same label with similar djent guitar leanings and metalcore/deathcore sized breakdowns. But they were always a little different and willing to blend several styles together to great effect, hence why they are able to be releasing their sixth album while so many other bands they were lumped in with have disappeared.
The opening one two punch of ‘Behold The Crown’ and ‘Exit, Exist’ come hard and fast, full of pinch harmonics and massive breakdowns as is to be expected by this band by now. Making pinch harmonics a hummable thing is something they have always excelled at, and continue here, while injecting some fresh thrashier moments.
The first real change begins when ‘11/26’ first makes its way into your ears, a drop in the djent and a pick up on modern metal make for a more straight forward listening experience as the band just allow the music to live without big breakdowns, replacing it instead with some great guitar soloing and more direct musical approach. ‘In Flux’ rapidly follows up, and falls back into a more traditional musical formula for this band, until the final minute and a half. A beautiful and lush solemn guitar piece that would have served better separated from anything else on the album as its own reflective piece of music.
The album plays out as you would expect as the band continue trying new elements without pushing their core sound too far so as not to greatly disrespect their fanbase too much. ‘Quicksand’ uses a slow traditional death metal build up to maximum effect before the a djent lead onslaught, and ‘To Challenge Existence’ really shows the band’s ability to repeat a riff over and over to dig its way into the psyche.
It has to be mentioned that this is the band’s first album without any input from founder and guitarist Justin Lowe who passed away in 2015, but had riffs attributed to him on the bands previous release Dig Deep. But here guitarist Trent Hafdahl has just upped his writing game like little has changed. This album continues where After the Burial has previously left off with some quality modern djent-injected metal.
- Behold the Crown
- Exit, Exist
- In Flux
- The Great Repeat
- To Challenge Existence
- A Pulse Exchanged