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Bury The Traitor - Ascend To Clarify

Bury The Traitor
Ascend To Clarify
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 01 March 2019, 7:38 AM

Metalcore, Post-Hardcore, Hardcore, Melodic Metalcore, Modern Metal…call it what you want and there are a lot of subtle differences in this vast and expansive genre today. Perhaps spearheaded by bands like BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, ATREYU, and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, today there are tens of thousands of bands in the genre, all trying to make their mark. Some Metal traditionalists hate the genre, and image…guys with styled beards and short hair; but I say that is a stereotype so let’s not go there. The style is often fairly simple…throaty roars in the verses followed by clean vocals and melody in the chorus. I have found, however, that bands from the UK tend to fare a bit better and their American counterparts when it comes to originality. So, let’s check out BURY THE TRAITOR’s debut, “Ascend to Clairify.”

“Embers” leads us off; a short two-minute instrumental. Following some acoustical guitars, a heavy riff and harsh vocals ensue. It segues into “Season to Burn.” It’s fairly typical Metalcore, and they have an energetic singer. The riff is kind of basic, however, and there are clean backing vocals in the chorus as expected. There are some small shifts here and there but the core sound remains. “A.S.I.F” opens with a slower and lower riff. The main sound takes in a little more variance here besides the raging vocals. I’m not sold on the validity of the clean vocals however. Harmonizing them would be too cliché, but leaving them alone they sound a little thin.

“Heads down Thumbs up” is much faster and more chaotic in nature. They rely a little too much on the main riff however and there is again a bit of a disconnect with the clean vocals and the harsh vocals. It doesn’t flow from one to the other as it should. Some Djent elements toward the end are a nice variation however. “Lion vs Wolf” is a shorter song that opens with some melodic moments that provide temperance to the intensity of the harsh vocals. The riffs reach out some more here and they are starting to find their sound. “When Lust Dethrones Loyalty” opens with clean vocals and then it’s on to an aggressive and heavy riff with a few accents here and there. This time there is an interchange of clean and harsh vocals, and the clean vocals deal with some emotions that was missing in earlier tracks. A mellow section in the middle is also a nice addition.

I feel like this album got better as it went along. The band definitely has talent. The key to good Metalcore is to find that balance between heavy raging riffs and vocals, and bitter and tender melodies. They have the heavy side of this genre down so that is not the issue. The melodies were not quite often enough to counterbalance however. One band that does this very well is THE AMITY AFFLICTION. But, no comparisons are necessary as each band stands on their own. Towards the end of the album I definitely heard some potential for this new UK act, and will be looking forward to hearing their sophomore effort, if they can tend to these few things I mentioned.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Embers
2. Season to Burn
3. A.S.I.F.
4. Heads down Thumbs up
5. Lion vs Wolf
6. When Lust Dethrones Loyalty
Lineup:
Oli Loewenbach – Vocals
Martyn Sheridan – Rhythm Guitar & Vocals
Scott Day – Lead Guitar
Martyn Emmett – Bass
James Cordall – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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