ALBUM REVIEW: Bury Tomorrow – ‘The Seventh Sun’

Artwork for Bury Tomorrow’s ‘The Seventh Sun’ - a seven-pointed star in a circle with an eye at the centre

It’s not wrong to feel conflicted about a new Bury Tomorrow album. Indeed, they’re a rare case of a consistently good—often great—band who have been for over a decade now, but for whom new albums rarely move the needle. There’s often the criticism to be made that the further away you get from a Bury Tomorrow album, the more its impact softens, which isn’t exactly ideal for one of the names supposedly spearheading British metal. But at the same time, there’s something about this band’s work that always strikes a chord regardless. They’re committed to a stripe of metalcore that’s reliably vicious and regal in pulling liberally from melodeath and the genre’s 2000s heyday, and regardless of some relative interchangeability, it’s never outright disposable.

So here’s The Seventh Sun which, despite holding very fast to their typical mantra, does come with one or two of notable distinctions in its favour. Chiefly, it’s the band’s first album as a six-piece, with the key addition being in Tom Prendergast as their new clean vocalist to fill Jason Cameron’s sizable shoes. That’s alongside some small instrumental tweaks and new sources of influence which, to be totally honest, don’t add up to much on initial listens. If there’s one thing to be said about The Seventh Sun, it’s that it’s certainly a Bury Tomorrow album, in how it kinda, sorta, more or less sounds like the bulk of their catalogue already. But it’s also an album that grows a lot, where the new aspects might seem insignificant at first but pick up a lot more momentum over time, to where there’s something definitely fresher onboard here. Call it the same honeymoon period as basically every one of its predecessors (and only time will tell if that’s the case), but there does seem to be something here this time.

At the same time, that point about this not really being a deviation still stands. Now seven albums in, Bury Tomorrow aren’t suddenly opening themselves up for a massive overhaul. But they don’t really need to when their formula continues to hold this fast, being far grander and heavier than a hefty swathe of metalcore in a mainstream catchment, and flexing those muscles gained from a steady diet of Killswitch Engage and their ilk. There’s never a danger of feeling watered down, and as Dani Winter-Bates continues to unleash his lion’s roar in full force—still loaded with equal amounts of skin-flaying brutality and precise gloss—the lynchpin of Bury Tomorrow’s sound proves unmeddled with.

So far, so Bury Tomorrow then. The Seventh Sun remains perfectly on track with everything they’ve done up to now, even when the glimpses outside the band’s traditional oeuvre come into play. It’s not like there’s blunt force coming from them, anyway; they’re tightly woven into the fabric of what makes a Bury Tomorrow album, to where they’re more natural extensions than anything else. Even Majesty, in what begins as effectively a slow-burning piano-ballad, is eventually ripped asunder for Bury Tomorrow’s more traditional metal, albeit at its most wide-reaching and cinematic. For a band who’ve always benefited from tapping into an inherent grandeur, The Seventh Sun sure makes an effort to turbocharge that approach whenever it can. Even outside of the strings to give The Carcass King some climactic finality, songs like Boltcutter and Heretic are produced to emphasise how simultaneously lean, all-encompassing and devastating they are, and subsequently vault over so much modern metalcore in the process.

More so than the majority of what came before it, The Seventh Sun feels like it has the ability to grow and ferment a lot more. It gets better with every listen, certainly, but at its core, it’s hitting with the big swings characteristic of Bury Tomorrow at a far higher rate. Just look at Prendergast to see how that growth comes to pass; initially, he might be a bit of an underwhelming presence thanks to affectations reminiscent of Brit-metalcore’s less impactful players in the 2010s, but he assimilates and elevates extremely quickly. It helps that he’s given a bit more to do than just be a mouthpiece for choruses, evident of something a bit more natural and flowing in the construction this time. Again, it’s by no means a total shake-up—for one, the broad, sweeping writing hasn’t gone away—but the steps forward are noteworthy all the same.

Essentially, if you’ve liked anything that Bury Tomorrow have put out up to now, The Seventh Sun is more of that with some slight advances that add up overall. The reliability that’s gotten them this far still takes pride of place, and the inherent thrills of metalcore that scrapes these heights without cutting itself short isn’t going anywhere either. Honestly, it’s perhaps most impressive that, at its heart, this is the same fare that broke Bury Tomorrow out over ten years ago, and they’re still finding ways to stave off rust or wear and tear. It still sounds fresh and vital, and at the risk of making the mistake of jumping the gun that’s been made a few too many times, this could be the Bury Tomorrow album that breaks the cycle for them. Again, only time will tell, but there’s more than enough to feel confident about.

For fans of: Killswitch Engage, While She Sleeps, Miss May I

‘The Seventh Sun’ by Bury Tomorrow is released on 31st March on Music For Nations.

Words by Luke Nuttall

Leave a Reply