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Bury Your Dead Beauty and the Breakdown

Bury Your Dead - Beauty and the Breakdown
01. House Of Straw
02. A Glass Slipper
03. The Poison Apple
04. Twelfth Stroke Of Midnight
05. Trail Of Crumbs
06. A Wishing Well
07. Let Down Your Hair
08. Mirror, Mirror...
09. Second Star To The Right
10. ...The Enchanted Rose
11. House Of Brick
2006 Victory Records


Reviewed by: Michael Gluck   //   Published: 8/7/2006

So here they are, the Massachussetts "hardcore" band that started off primarily as a fun joke, on top of Victory's priority releases after having sold roughly 90k of their 2004 shocker Cover Your Tracks. For fans of certain members' previous bands Piecemeal and Hamartia, it was obvious from the start that Bury Your Dead were dumbing down their abilities as players for the sake of creating heavy, entertaining hardcore tinged with metal. But when drummer Mark Castillo returned for his second stint after a run with Between The Buried And Me, Bury Your Dead caught fire and have been burning it up ever since. They are one of those bands where the more they're hated, the bigger they seem to become, following a joke-band-to-hardcore-gods career path not unlike what we have witnessed Throwdown enjoy. So what does this all mean Precisely that their new album, Beauty and the Breakdown, had to be even catchier and more over-the-top than their previous albums for the band to keep getting bigger.

Getting bigger will take a bigger leap of faith this time though, because the songs on Beauty and the Breakdown suggest the band taking a serious approach at songwriting for the first time in their short history. Bury Your Dead have at last written songs that make sense to the untrained ear, which is the key to appealing to a larger fanbase. On prior albums, their songs changed tempos capriciously and regularly sprayed the listener (and bedroom mosher) with absurd double-bass patterns. While Castillo has only slightly tamed his drum patterns this time around, the band's tempo shifts are much less challenging than on Cover Your Tracks, which may turn off some fans previously attracted to their hardcore-on-uppers songwriting style. Admittedly though, the Morrisound Studios-recorded drums sound warmer and less clicky than on Cover Your Tracks. "Twelfth Stroke Of Midnight" and "Trail Of Crumbs" are songs that benefit from the deeper bass drum sound provided to Castillo on Beauty and the Breakdown.

With a 2005 summer tour playing alongside Will Smith's wife's band Wicked Wisdom under their belts and an opening slot for Korn upcoming, their "threatening, intense, volatile hardcore in the vein of Hatebreed, Pantera and Killswitch Engage!" (as the oversized sticker on Cover Your Tracks described them) evidently struck a chord with heavy music fans. The songs on Beauty and the Breakdown do away with much of the aggressive hardcore influences and time changes that remained on their Victory debut, and instead rely on more palatable down-tuned riffs backed by basic 4/4 rhythms. On opener "House Of Straw" and next song "A Glass Slipper," similarities can be drawn to nu-metal bands like Nothingface, Spineshank, and Slaves On Dope. These bands that came in at the tail end of nu-metal's popularity, enjoying a touch of success before fading away, used a formula not unlike Bury Your Dead use on their new album. Seeing as those bands originated in the nu-metal underground rather than hardcore, they took themselves much more seriously in every aspect of their music. This inability to adapt foretold their downfalls, so I find it curious that Bury Your Dead would adopt an essentially mid-paced nu-metal sound after having carved out a niche for themselves as a hardcore band.

Many of the songs recall moshier moments of Slipknot's self-titled and Iowa albums, or Martyr AD's On Earth As It Is In Hell album which sounded a lot like Slipknot to boot, and did in that once-promising band swiftly enough. Does a similar fate await Bury Your Dead To have uniformly slowed the tempos on Beauty and the Breakdown, the band had to have been extremely confident and surely they expect their fanbase only to grow as a result. But I would have liked a faster, more unpredictable album and in time we shall see by virtue of record sales if I'm alone in this regard. Aside from the neo-melodic, punky "The Poison Apple" (this album's version of "Magnolia" on Cover Your Tracks), the upbeat "Mirror, Mirror...," and the closest Bury Your Dead have come to writing a ballad with "House Of Brick," the songs on Beauty and the Breakdown are not as interesting as their older material.

Bottom Line: I know they started off as a fun joke, so as a result they have the convenience of falling back on that motivation anytime criticism is leveled at them. Naming every song on Beauty and the Breakdown after fairytales shows their unbridled sense of humor, and what started as a satire on Cover Your Tracks (with its songs named after Tom Cruise movies) will surely become a tradition that the band sticks to so long as they're active. One tradition they are not sticking to however is that of hardcore. Very little of it remains on Beauty and the Breakdown, making for somewhat of a monotone but nevertheless heavy product.

Wingman_   posted 12/11/2007 8:44:53 PM
yeah. um, i will agree with some by saying that the guitars have a sort of Nu-metal sound. but seriously, the breakdowns and 2-steps are not even close to Nu-Metal. im sorry but this album kills it just as much as all of the other ones. i agree with what it said on the album cover, the album is definately for fans of pantera and Madball. i love this shit!
xxxpaul_   posted 9/13/2007 11:54:28 PM
perfect hardcore album for brutal people this cd holds no mercy great album yet 10/10
Entrail607_   posted 2/19/2007 7:22:44 PM
dudu dun dudu dun.x20 is not boring buddy, that's the sound that makes me want to kick your ass in a pit.
xBBBx_   posted 1/25/2007 12:23:30 PM
Made korn look good?
Dude you make the Backstreet Boys look good, so you got no where to talk.
RyanATF_   posted 1/17/2007 12:35:25 AM
...The only band to make Korn look good on Family Values...

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