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Burial In The Sky - The Consumed Self review

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Band: Burial In The Sky
Album: The Consumed Self
Release date: August 2021

01. Soft Violet Light
02. An Orphaned City
03. On Wings Of Providence
04. Amaurosis Shroud
05. Wayfarer
06. Mechanisms Of Lonliness
07. Mountains I - To Ascend
08. Mountains II - Empathy
09. Caught In The Azure Cradle
10. The Anatomy Of Us

It was about time for these saxophone tech death lads to finally live up to their potential.

You may remember my review of Burial In The Sky's previous record, 2018's Creatio Et Hominus, and me calling it disjointed and messy despite giving it a 7. Just in case you were wondering why I don't rate stuff anymore. But despite being a pretty decent tech death record, what really lead me to grow fond of Burial In The Sky was their use of saxophone, coincidentally the same saxophonist that guested on Rivers Of Nihil's Where Owls Know My Name, an album I reviewed and that me and others praised for said use of saxophone. And all the talk of saxophone has made it seem like it's a bigger deal than it is and in the meantime it began to feel a bit too much like a gimmick, but I retained the hope that Burial In The Sky could really do something great. They did.

The personnel on this record is pretty huge. First things first, vocalist Jorel Hart, who seemed to have been more of a session vocalist on Creatio Et Hominus, is now a full-time member, and the band is also joined by a second guitarist in Brad Hettinger. And even if the five members perform on eclectic instruments as the aforementioned saxophone, as well as mandolin and accordion, one look on the Bandcamp page showcases a list of twelve guest musicians performing everything from spoken word to trombone to theremin to French horn to whatever the hell a "euphonium" is. And just like the previous record, which had a concept based on the subjectivity of experience, this one has a dystopian concept about a society that is walled in and fed propaganda about the outside world. So: experimental instrumentation and a neat concept, thus pretty much everything that was already good about Creatio Et Hominus.

Now what was bad about Creatio Et Hominus was that the songwriting felt disjointed and half-baked. Yeah, that's pretty much not the case here. Everything from the performances to the songwriting to the production quality seems viscerally more muscular than they were three years ago. The riffing is more dynamic, the vocals more varied, the sax has more and better-integrated moments, the drumming is pretty thunderous, and the production is as pristine and atmospheric as one can come to expect from this kind of progressive tech death. And the songwriting really puts the necessary emphasis on the "progressive" rather than the "tech" part, even if the latter is not dismissed. Though I probably wouldn't have guessed that many guests were involved, with their contributions veiled quite subtly, it does give the record a bit of a symphonic edge that is not overt enough to be cheesy.

That's it! Burial In The Sky are no longer that band with the guy who did sax on the Rivers Of Nihil record. Burial In The Sky are now prog tech death royalty.

Written on 21.08.2021 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments: 4   Visited by: 45 users
22.08.2021 - 19:39

Really enjoyed this album, 8/10. Excited to see where they go from here.
"Nullum unquam exstitit magnum igenium sine aliqua dementia [there was never great genius without some madness]."

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22.08.2021 - 20:13

What a well written review, this is exactly what I thought without being able to put it into words. They really deserve more praise for this album.
07.10.2021 - 01:03

The saxophone bits didn't come off as strongly as it should have just like the technical death metal bits. All of these act positively for the album.
08.10.2021 - 23:30
I was at the Rivers of Nile show where they filmed the video for 'Silent Life' and Burial In the Sky opened for them. The vocalist didn't show that night but they still played anyway and man, it was fantastic! The music was great and it was such a perfect opening band for Rivers. After the show I got a chance to talk to Zach and he talked me into buying a shirt and their album, Creatio Et Hominus. Anyway, I loved the shirt and have worn their colors proudly since that show but that album has collected dust on my shelf since. Just wasn't into it, I liked them better without the vocalist.

Anyway, your last line in this review really summed up my thoughts on this band perfectly. I'll for sure check out their new album though and see if they've turned the corner!

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