Released: 2004, Victory Records
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman
If the unconventional promotional art, or song titles based on Tom Cruise films (I’m not kidding) didn’t tip you off, Bury Your Dead is set to pull a stunt. There is a Strife-worthy bravery here, and it should be respected and revered. There is also a total slam-fest contained within.
BYD’s bass-heavy, yet swift and sharp-for-slicing riffing is notably distinct, and the incredible (if not incredibly clean) production only amplifies its carnage, lending the record a stark, post-modern Prong-like sting. “Eyes Wide Shut” thunders with a near Fear Factory vibe—one could swear Dino Cazares is somewhere in the room. Yet, for all the band’s experimentation, no attempt at Post-Industrial elements is even loosely made; the band is just that tight.
There are excellent, above-par drum sounds on this recording—with even the symbols mastered to perfection. Every rattle is an avalanche. Every kick-drum is a bullet in your chest. “Legend” has an almost Thrash-like feel, though vocals are standard-issue, single note Punk Rock.
“Mission: Impossible,” an album highlight, has some amazing—yet subtle—experimental elements mixed in. The fascinating interlaying of textures makes “Magnolia” yet another example of how this band transcends their Hardcore tag. This may have all the slam and “jump around” feel of such, but truly, this is potentially pioneering Crossover stuff.
Fans of the stop/start riffing and mechanized production of bands like Helmet, Prong, and Fear Factory will adore this, despite its lack of electronics. It’s not “mechanized,” yet it deceptively sounds as though it were. This really smears a lot of sound tags, and most certainly will win its share of fans.