Having built a reputation off the back of incendiary live shows, Bury Tomorrow’s fifth album Black Flame seeks to propel them even further than their previous two UK Top 40-charting releases have. What’s further striking about them, is that these are by no means mainstream albums – Earthbound (2016) and Runes (2014) are metalcore through and through, and have tracks that can hold their own against any of the standout releases from the genre’s prime in the mid-2000s – think Parkway Drive’sHorizons (2007), Unearth’sIII: In The Eyes of Fire (2006) and Killswitch Engage’sThe End of Heartache (2004) for the character, and the quality, of these previous releases.
With album opener “No Less Violent”, Bury Tomorrow make a statement both with its title and the track itself – no heaviness has been lost from prior releases. Serving as a perfect commencement, it’s a showcase of the band’s key strength over their career – they can write a chorus you can sing along with, without alienating fans of the heavier side. Meanwhile, the title track brings these assets and adds in segments more in common with Gothenburg melodeath; harmonised guitars complement Daniel Winter Bates’ screams as the shredded lead lines under the clean vocals of Jason Cameron.
Check out the video for title track “Black Flame” below.
A running theme of the album is that it successfully takes everything learned from prior releases and adds qualities from other groups at the forefront of their genre and at their peak – see In Flames or At The Gates on the title track, or “Knife of Gold” channelling As the Palaces Burn-era Lamb of God. These broader influences are brought in sparingly but effectively, delivering something fresh, full of energy and unmistakably by Bury Tomorrow.
Surprisingly, there’s more to be found on the as yet unreleased tracks from Black Flame, as opposed to those which already have supporting videos. When some bands are hitting a lull in the midpoint their recordings, Bury Tomorrow are at their peak with “My Revenge” and “More Than Mortal” coming back-to-back in the middle of the album forming an unskippable spine. There isn’t a weak track on Black Flame, and it’s undoubtably their strongest offering as a whole; however, the only small gripe is that it doesn’t have one stand-out track of the quality of “Man On Fire” from Runes. The entirety of Black Flame could find its way into a live set, but if I were picking one song to introduce someone new to Bury Tomorrow, it’d still be “Man On Fire”.
At this stage of their career, one could almost forgive Bury Tomorrow for toying with something a little more mainstream – but here they haven’t so much as dipped a toe in. Black Flame stays true to the sound that gave the guys their reputation, and elevates everything they’ve done to date a notch or two, resulting in a must-listen for metalcore fans around the world. Don’t be surprised if Black Flame becomes a modern metal classic beyond the sub-genre too – this is up there competing for my album of the year thus far.
This song is one damn hot “Knife of Gold”.
Black Flame Track Listing:
01. No Less Violent
03. Black Flame
04. My Revenge
05. More Than Mortal
06. Knife Of Gold
07. The Age
Run Time: 40:29 Release Date: July 13, 2018 Record Label: Music for Nations
This December, Bury Tomorrow embark on a UK tour in support of Black Flame, bringing 36 Crazyfists and Cane Hill along with them too. If you haven’t seen them live before, it’s highly recommended that you do, and if you have – you know exactly why you need to see them again. Dates are below, and for more details click here.
12/11 - Bristol, SWX
12/12 - Birmingham, O2 Institute
12/13 - Glasgow, Garage
12/14 - Manchester, O2 Ritz
12/15 - London, O2 Forum Kentish Town