After the Burial
Evergreen

I was curious as to how After the Burial would follow up the emotional 2016 album, Dig Deep, the tragedy laden homage to deceased former guitarist Justin Lowe. Having come up with bands like Born of Osiris, Periphery, The Faceless and such, After the Burial have arguably been the most consistent in their delivery since 2008s breakout, Rareform (as I’ve said a few time before, “The Fractal Effect” is still one of my favorite songs of in the genre ever), and Evergreen sees that continue.

The formula is the same, if safe: tightly wound and produced djenty Meshuggah meets metalcore stomp and lope without Born of Osiris‘s heavy keyboards and experimentation Periphery’s clean injections and shredding, and without The Faceless‘s cocaine addiction (I keed). There is enough staggering heft to keep things heavy and just enough other things to keep it interesting.

Interestingly enough the album’s lead single and opening track “Behold the Crown”, despite its brilliant video, is one of the album safer, less dynamic tracks (and while no foghorn from “Laurentian Ghosts”, there is an air raid siren….). “Exit, Exist” delivers the album’s first neck bobbing breakdown, before “11:26” delivers a more emotive numbers that hearkens back to moments of  Dig Deep (as does “Respire”), and ends with a really nice lead.

The album’s longest the 6 minute “In Flux”, sees the band really embrace the Meshuggah stagger with good effect before the aforementioned “Respire” delves again into more introspective and melodic territory. “Quicksand” slows things down a tad with a controlled lope, even if it seems to end without really peaking. “The Great Repeat” seems like the album’s only real throwaway track before the frenetic “To Challenge Existence” and surprisingly direct thrashing number closer “A Pulse Exchanged” rounds things out.

Another solid if less cathartic entry from a solid band who know their sound and their audience and don’t feel the need to change things up too much. They have lasted the genre’s saturation, rise and fall to deliver a fifth album when many of their peers are broken up or jumping the shark.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
April 22nd, 2019

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