After The Burial – Evergreen

Having already reviewed Whitechapel this year, it seems only fitting that a new After The Burial record would come along so soon after. Whilst not being in the same sphere of musical style at all both bands are at a similar point in their careers. After The Burial much like Whitechapel are also absolute masters of their sound a band that has remained pretty much unrivaled in terms of musicianship and influence.Continue reading

After The Burial – Dig Deep

AFTER_THE_BURIAL_-_DIG_DEEP album cover ghostcultmag

It may seem a bit on the nose, but Dig Deep (Sumerian Records) is probably the most appropriate moniker that After The Burial could have mustered up with for their first album since the untimely passing of guitarist and founding member Justin Lowe. Last year was shaping up nicely for as they were set to perform on last year’s Summer Slaughter tour and record the much-anticipated follow-up to 2013s Wolves Within (also Sumerian).

Then the unfathomable occurred. On June 24, following several days of troubling internet posts and subsequent departure from After The Burial, Lowe was found dead of an apparent suicide. Tours were canceled, recording plans indefinitely postponed, and the Minnesota outfit was at the most difficult crossroads of their prosperous career. Following weeks of silence and introspection, After The Burial considered all of their options (including disbandment) and announced the intention to continue forward as a collective.

This was great news not just for the fans, but for Sumerian Records as a whole. After The Burial is one of the current crop of progressive metal acts with the most upside and so it’d be challenging for Sumerian to scout young talent of the same caliber. It’s also worth noting that as an imprint Sumerian isn’t the recruiting force it used to be due to losing ground to labels like eOne, Nuclear Blast Entertainment and Metal Blade, so it would be wise to hold on to as many assets as possible.

But all the momentum and prospect status in the world become null and void if After the Burial couldn’t produce music with the same ferocity as it has in the last eight years. In the aftermath of losing such a talented player like Lowe, it would’ve even been acceptable to have Dig Deep further delayed, but instead After The Burial crafted some of their best material in a very quick turnaround. Credit that to lead guitarist and band MVP Trent Hafdahl who is now picking up all the guitar parts with equal parts shred and gusto. Recently released single ‘Collapse’ opens the album with a riff that’s like Unearth on meth and a ripping solo that’d make Alex Skolnick proud.

And it gets better from there as Hafdahl eschews the more Meshuggah-sounding-the-better approach adopted by so many of their contemporaries in favor of whatever dynamic suits his fancy. Backed by a laser focused rhythm section consisting of bassist Lerichard Foral and drummer Dan Carle, Hafdahl can bounce from the modern Pantera staccato crunch of ‘Lost in the Static’ to the thrash banging of its follow-up ‘Mire.’ ‘Catacombs’ later on the album is another mid-tempo stomper that’s heavier than present day Axl Rose.

But it’s not all blastbeats and brimstone, as ‘Laurentian Ghosts’ follows in the vein of past After the Burial slow jams like ‘Aspiration’ and ‘To Carry You Away’ with its acoustic lines at the beginning and consistent melody throughout. However Anthony Notarmaso’s meaty growls keep the proceeding from going too far into All That Remains territory. And then you have the more melodic death flavor to Dig Deep’s strongest song, ‘Deluge.’ Right out the gate it’s a storm of searing leads and finger numbing riffs. To unleash that beast live will certainly require the aid of a second (and skilled) guitarist.

With the songwriting quality so high on Dig Deep, it didn’t really need that title, but I guess After the Burial didn’t want its message to be lost to their fans. A more than formidable return to form and tribute to a fallen comrade.

9.0/10

HANSEL LOPEZ

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Audio: After The Burial Premiere Track By Track Preview of New Album

AFTER_THE_BURIAL_-_DIG_DEEP album cover ghostcultmag

Technical death metallers After The Burial have launched a preview of their entire new album, Dig Deep, out next Friday, February 26th , on Sumerian Records. You can hear the preview at this link or below:

 

Dig Deep is the bands first release since the tragic death of guitarist Justin Lowe last summer. Front man Tren Hafdahl commented

When you think you don’t have anything left in you, you have to rely on that inner strength.” “That’s where we are as a band. So many things beyond our control went wrong, but we started to dig deep as brothers.”

 

Here is a stream of the single ‘Collapse’, in full:

 

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