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Bury Me Where I Fall - Always the Villain, Never the Martyr

Bury Me Where I Fall
Always the Villain, Never the Martyr
by Jon-Paul McCarthy at 10 February 2022, 8:50 AM

Formed in 2018, BURY ME WHERE I FALL are a Midland’s based 3-piece. Their first outing in the guise of “Always The Villain, Never The Martyr” is a five track EP of some good old fashioned rock/metal crossover. For an independent release, it is a given that the production is unlikely to be as polished as a major label release and they can be forgiven for that for sure. Despite this, I felt the overall mix a touch loose. For bands at this level, it’s a good first outing and very listenable. Listening on headphones was far more forgiving compared to a set of studio monitors where I felt the drum production could have used a touch more attention. It isn’t terrible by any means, but a little more time on this would have been great.

So, what about the music? Well, there’s a range of styles being brought into the mix here from the hard rock and light metal range of the spectrum. The album kicks off with the title track, “Always The Villain, Never The Martyr” with a spoken word intro atop a rather nice sounding acoustic accompaniment. Although it builds progressively, the crescendo into the track feels a little long to me. I think I could have got the idea with slightly less of this. However, the main track does kick off with a string harmonized riffy intro and proper beefy sounding bass and drums and vocalist Chilli Phil belting out in furious style. I can imagine this track being a good live opener and is one of the EP’s standout tracks.

“Bury Me Where I Fall”, a track that shares its name with the band, takes a little work to get what the band were trying to portray. It is a shame therefore that it almost sounds like something is constantly out of time. I honestly couldn’t decide if it was a poor choice of drum pattern overall or some fault that occurred during production. With my amateur studio engineer ears on, I could listen past just about. While it could have been a pretty tasty track, it is a little difficult for the average listener to get on board with. It’s a shame really, but this is the low point on the EP.

“Eyes Of Darkness” opens with its primary hook. A little microphone noise at the start gives away this independent effort’s roots but actually to pleasant effect. The track itself is another belter. It uses a fairly classic mix of clean verses and shouty chorus which has been used to good effect if a little back and forth in terms of intensity. This is one track where Steve Smithard (bass) and Gav Eaglefield (drums) are very locked in tight with each other, crucial for the very well executed breakdown moments.

“Intuition” changes pace slightly with an altogether groovier pace not too dissimilar to some of TOOL or PEARL JAM’s more flowy tracks. I certainly got a very “Evenflow” vibe from this one in places. “Perfect Victim” brings this 20-minute EP to a close with its attempts to introduce a slightly darker element. Chilli Phil’s vocal on this track is especially better thought out and sounds far more natural than previously heard elsewhere. This is very much the second standout of the EP and really demonstrates the musicianship that the band are capable of a lot more.

Overall, this is a first outing by a self-financed band. And it’s not bad at all. It is difficult to name-drop artists that bands of this ilk sound like. But if I was pressed, I would have to suggest PEARL JAM, SMASHING PUMPKINS and SILVERCHAIR in their heavier and more riff-based moments, although the songwriting itself isn’t quite on the same level. I do feel the band are still in the phases of developing their own style and where to go from here which puts them in the category of could be better. While that sounds harsh, I do believe they have the makings of a good band project on their hands. With a little more time spent honing the songwriting techniques, possibly using a little syncopation especially taking advantage of the off-beat as well as not being afraid to take music cues from their influences and trying it on for size would surely bolster future new music. I do believe the band have the raw talent to do it.

While the production does leave a little to be desired in places, it is absolutely above the level of the typical bedroom recording quality that modern desktop musicians are capable of. I do wonder if they had spent a bit more time on the overall production at the cost of a track if they would have been in a better position. Maybe something to remember for next time. All that said, BURY ME WHERE I FALL are definitely worthy of any gig goers attention and I can well imagine put on a good show accessible to almost any rock or metalhead within reason. There isn’t anything offensively bad and there is enough on show here to pique some attention. I would certainly look forward to seeing what they produce in a year or two with a bit more working out and getting out of their songwriting comfort zones. BURY ME WHERE I FALL are also competing in the Leicester Metal To The Masses (Heat 4) where I have no doubt that they will surely impress.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Always The Villain, Never The Martyr
2. Bury Me Where I Fall
3. Eyes Of Darkness
4. Intuition
5. Perfect Victim
Lineup:
Chili Phil - Guitars Vocals
Steve Smithard - Bass
Gav Eaglefield – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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