When thinking about hardcore music of today, a band like The Burial probably wouldn't come to mind too often. Though they're a part of the well-known Facedown Records, they've managed to stay relatively quiet in their seven-year tenure. They released The Winepress on Strike First last year, and their Facedown debut is a powerhouse metal album called Lights and Perfections that you should probably start thinking about.
The Burial kicks off this latest project with a healthy display of their musicianship. The intro of "Lights" brings you in with some rhythmic chugging and drums, but also lets in a metal-style guitar solo to change things up a bit. Soon after, the onslaught begins. Beautifully devastating mixtures of speed metal, death metal and modern-day hardcore become the name of the game. Traces of Living Sacrifice, Pantera and Becoming the Archetype light up the scene - and this is all in the first song. But the intensity and musical destruction keep up in "Pearls; The Frailty of Matter" (which contains shredding guitars and double bass at speeds that might make one a little light-headed if not properly prepared) and the brutal opening of "Sight and Sensation." This track is also an interesting one in that it actually takes a breather, if only for a brief moment. Acoustic guitar is used for the only time on Lights and Perfections, and it's done at the perfect time, but doesn't last too long before the metal guitars kick back in. There is another slow section in the following song, "Shackles and Embers," but it sounds more like an electric guitar, just toned down quite a bit.
No doubt the musicianship is one of the key strengths of The Burial. The chemistry here is astounding, and each band member plays off of each other so very well. In addition, the lyricism is pretty spot-on as well. Sometimes the lyrics are straight out of Scripture, as Elisha Mullins screams, "Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within these bones," in the opening of "Apathy and Petition." Humility is a key factor in The Burial's songs, as we see in these lyrics, as well as in the song "Salt and Warmth," where Mullins says, "I let this mortal frame enrage my heart and conquer me, is this the light I claim I want the world to see? Or this the salt He said He needed me to be?" Though The Burial stays humble, they're also not afraid to confront hypocrisy; "Sight and Sensation" speaks out against hypocritical people and leaders ("Preying on the dreams of a broken home, feasting on the bones of a withered frame, if salvation hung on their long-winded boasts, surely their souls would have nothing to fear, nothing to fear, even past the plank in my eye I can see that they're blind leading the blind").
The Burial's latest album is an excellent display of hardcore done right. It's amazing how unknown these guys are when their music is this good. If The Burial isn't the best band Facedown Records has to offer us, then they're definitely close to it (but I'm putting my money on them). If you haven't listened to Lights and Perfections yet, you're missing out on something good, and you should probably change that pretty quickly.- Review date: 8/30/12, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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