After the Burial
Dig Deep

Though coming up around the same time as bands like Born of Osiris, Periphery, Within the Ruins, The Contortionist, Veil of Maya, The Faceless and many other ‘Sumerian-core’ styled bands, Minnesota’s After the Burial stood out on their second album Rareform, (“The Fractal Effect” is still a damn cool song). But as with the genre as a whole, despite a couple more solid release in 201s In Dreams and 2013s Wolves Within, they fell of my musical map and frankly other than last years August Burns Red album, nothing ‘core’ has really excited me. (Do we really need a new Killswitch Engage album?)

But in 2015 the band started making headlines for non musical reasons as talented but troubled  guitarist Justin Lowe disappeared, resurfaced, disappeared again and eventually was found dead by apparent suicide. Well, tragedy can give rise to many things and After the Burial did in fact ‘Dig Deep’ and continue without Lowe, and the result is an album that has reignited my energy for the djenty, progressive metalcore style, and might just re-energize the genre.

Whatever emotions and feelings the death of Lowe brought up has made After the Burial a force to be reckoned with and the top dog in the style/scene. Dig Deep is a powerful, cathartic  and developed album that delivers and the stuttering, progressive djent styled metalcore you would want, but flocks it with a deeper sense of purpose, sorrow and emotional density. Sure, the back bone of the album is the stop start, jagged Meshuggah-ism and there are plenty- big, hefty, loping, choppy grooves and breakdowns as heard on opener “Collapse”, “Lost in the Static”  and “Mire”, a powerful, resonant, attention getting opening trio.

But the band shines elsewhere also. The band’s tragedy seems to surface in the album’s mid point as the death of Lowe (at least to the casual listener without reading the lyrics), starts to seep through the material with  an ingrained sense of loss as heard on the somberly melodic “Deluge” or  the nice acoustics that start  the melancholic “Laurentian Ghosts” (using some of Lowe’s demo reel material) and even the massive, rumbling “Heavy Lies the Ground” and sullen lurch of “Catacombs”, but you get no immediate sense of wallowing in loss- there’s no ballad or ode, much rather the whole album is deeply personally steeped in respect and sorrow.  “This Endless March” picks the pace up with a more shredding Unearth -ish approach, then “Sway of the Break” almost ends the album on an upbeat note as the band’s clears the gloom and is at peace, though it ends rather suddenly.

After the Burial have never been as synth driven or adventurous as label mates Born of Osiris and have not succumbed to a more commercial sound like Veil of Maya, but on Dig Deep they have displayed how god the much maligned sound can be when done with this much passion and skill intertwined symbiotically. And while ‘core haters’ will still moan about the band’s drop tuning, vocals, etc, the fact is Dig Deep is the album that should put the style back on the map.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 26th, 2016


  1. Commented by: Kevin E.

    These guys had me at Rareform, but ever since then, just like Born of Osiris, I keep trying to give them a chance with each new album and never fail to be disappointed.

  2. Commented by: gabaghoul

    I literally lol’d at the airhorn before the breakdown on “Laurentian Ghosts”

  3. Commented by: Brad

    Fuck. That’s awful. But to each her own.

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