Is it weird to have “should’ve leaned more into brutality” as your first thought upon completing a Metalcore album? Asking for a friend. That’s not to say that there is a total absence of the heavier and grimier stuff on Bury Tomorrow’s Cannibal (Music for Nations/Sony), but I wouldn’t have been heartbroken if they would’ve squeezed some more juice out of the amps.
Considering that Cannibal is Bury Tomorrow’s second effort under the umbrella of a major label then maybe they were aiming for a slightly sleeker or more streamlined sound. Covid-19 eventually will go away, and music business will again be open to proper touring and promotion. In a perfect world loads of bands will be chomping at the bit to make up for lost time and revenues once the pandemic dust settles. He with the most popular release gets the juiciest of tour offers.
Again, it’s not like Bury Tomorrow has gone full-on Bullet for my Valentine circa 2008. There are no ballads or fancy duets on Cannibal, but boy is it loyal to conventional verse-chorus-verse song structure. The problem for me is that numbers like ‘Choke’ or the title track seem to be building a head of steam before rhythm guitarist Jason Cameron cuts in with his sung choruses. While Cameron’s melodic interludes are catchy – have fun getting ‘The Grey (VIXI)’ out of your head – the repetition establishes too much of a predictable pattern.
Cameron’s hooks work best when they are contrasted with the meaner bits on Cannibal. ‘Imposter’ and ‘Gods & Machines’ both unleash a barrage of Gothenburg inspired guitar licks that keep pace with the speed and double kicks of Adam Jackson on drums. Another underutilized tool is the lead guitar chops of Kristan Dawson who can spark up some flashy solos like the one found on ‘Voice & Truth.’
The idea isn’t for Bury Tomorrow to completely ditch melody as that’s an integral part of what brought them to the major label dance. Just spike the melody with a lot more bite every once in a while.
6 / 10