Review: Bury Tomorrow – Portraits

Artist: Bury Tomorrow
Album: Portraits
Genre: Metalcore
Label: Artery Recordings

Southhampton’s Bury Tomorrow adopt the prototype other metalcore bands have instilled and rarely leave their comfort zone of perpetual song structures (verse/chorus/breakdown) but their execution proves the Brits can deliver much like their US adversaries. Although they carry similar characteristics set by previously bands, through extensive touring in the UK and Europe they have safely secured a prevalent spot in the UK underground metal scene. Since starting in 2006, they self released their debut EP, The Sleep of the Innocents and are finally approaching the US release of their first full length album, Portraits, on Artery Recordings.

From the opening track “Confessions,” their battle plan becomes predictable. Low tuned guitars, melodic picking, staccato riffs, simple harmonies and pounding drums. The generic formulas are nothing groundbreaking or even exceptionally strong but nonetheless, they do its job and to a certain extent, they get away with it. The drum work is nothing extraordinary but keeps texture, most distinctively in the blast beats during the opening bars of, “Her Bones In The Sand.” Chopped up, single note breakdowns (“Casting Shapes”) don’t deliver the intensity that we’re all used to.

While their musicianship isn’t anything too impressive, their clean vocalist, Jason Cameron, is a force to be reckoned with. He is the valuable asset that set Bury Tomorrow apart from their contenders. His ethereal and passionate voice ultimately carries the record. His vocals are some of the strongest in the genre and each song he delivers, but his talent is particularly displayed in lead track, “You & I,” “These Woods Aren’t Safe For Us,” and without metallic barriage, his range is especially noticeable in the acoustic driven track, “Relief.” Bury Tomorrow know he his strength and successfully focus their music to suit his vocals. Jason’s counterpart Dani Winter- Bates, lead vocalist, is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. While alternating between higher registered shrieks and deeper death growls, his execution is, at times, mundane and becomes monotonous after an extended time. That’s without saying that he does have his moments of power, especially on the bonus track, “Waxed Wings,” and the impressive Earth-shattering lows during the closing bars of, “Repair The Lining.” Paired together, both vocalists duel assault is credible. Also, incorporating origins of post-hardcore, “Evolution,” and “Anything With Teeth,” both rally gang vocals.

While standing alone the instrumentals and vocals may not be the most impressive but piecing everything together they gather a much needed strength. “You & I,” has an impeccable vocal line and is a prominent track. With an instrumental section that escelades into soothing and serene singing, “These Woods Aren’t Safe For Us,” is easily the catchiest and most melodic song on the album. Intense lines like, “From the darkness, I am light and I won’t forget the pain I felt. These roots are buried so f***ing deep into the ground, seems like I’ve spent a life time trying to cut you down,” found on “,“Casting Shapes,” prove they are lyrically proficient and have something to say.

I’ll admit after the first listen I wasn’t too taken back but after a few listens, Portraits is definitely growing on me. Bury Tomorrow may fall into a generic metalcore sound but taking into consideration of their heavy tour schedule and this being their first full length album, with time comes growth. They are already taking the UK by storm and are nearing their US tour with Attack Attack!, Breathe Carolina, I See Stars, and Asking Alexandria starting in March. Portraits, will be available in the US on March 16th and be sure to catch them while they are actually in the states.

Score: 7/10
Review written by: Nerissa Judd

James Shotwell
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