AFTER THE BURIAL have been at the forefront of massive breakdowns, neck snapping up tempo riffs, and huge guitar solos for years.They have many acts they can be compared to, but they’re always still easily picked out of a lineup. Their latest offering, Evergreen (out now, Sumerian Records), is no different. It’s definitely 100% unfiltered ATB, and it’s pretty goddamn heavy. I really do love this band. After the tragedy of their guitarist Justin Lowe passing, they came back with a massive record, and a renewed vigor that you could literally almost taste through the songs. It felt like a truck plowing you over going 110 MPH, and I couldn’t be much more thankful for that. This latest release has quite a bit to offer new and old ATB fans alike, but it feels a bit too run of the mill to me.
These guys have always been really creative and all over the map. I specifically remember some songs from their discography that have made me have to stop and reflect on just what kind of fucked up thought process would have gotten them to that point in order to write that type of material. Sadly, I didn’t hear a whole lot of that on this album. The single “Behold the Crown” features a metric shit ton of pinch harmonics in the beginning riff, which is not an easy task to do, especially in rapid succession like that, but even then, nothing really sticks out with the rest of this record. A few earworm breakdowns here and there, a few crazy guitar solos, some nice slightly different vocal techniques but overall… Nothing stood out to me.
I want the readers to understand, I do not think this is a bad record. There’s quite a few of those out there, but this does not belong in that class whatsoever. It’s simply a record. That’s just what it feels like. It’s a collection of songs that the band put together. It’s solid, and it’s better than I can do, but it’s just not inherently jaw dropping or heart pounding for me personally. I really really wanted to put this album on a pedestal before I even listened, but I’m glad I hesitated.
Listen, this material is going to slam live. ATB might be one of the greatest live bands out there to date, and I know that they’ll continue to bring that incredible energy with this music as well. I just really feel like they didn’t quite catch lightning in a bottle with this one. I’ll be patiently awaiting the next record, but this one’s going on the back burner for now. Hopefully it grows on me in time.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Behold The Crown”, “In Flux”, “To Challenge Existence”