Album Review: Bury Tomorrow – The Seventh Sun
Reviewed by Dan Barnes
By all accounts the end of 2021 saw Bury Tomorrow at something of an unintended crossroads. That year’s proposed Bloodstock appearance was pulled at short notice – through the Slam Dunk show still happened a few weeks later and was a rousing triumph. Yet, it is still uncomfortable to think the band were contemplating hanging it all up after fifteen years of hard work and sheer, bloody-minded, determination.
The first six records saw Bury Tomorrow’s momentum gathering to a fever pitch, with the Southampton lads racking up the miles and destroying stages alongside I Killed the Prom Queen, Architects and The Acacia Strain. The release of Cannibal in 2020 was the pinch-point where all the forward motion slowed to a stop, leaving the band to contemplate where and how to move on.
Luckily for us, Bury Tomorrow are made of sterner stuff, and they got up, dusted themselves off, and set about writing and recording what is – in my humble opinion – the best album of their career so far. This, in the face of the good-terms departure of founding member and guitarist, Jason Cameron.
In order to counter this loss, the remaining members recruited Ed Hartwell to cover guitar duties and Tom Prendergast to handle keyboard and clean vocals, turning the band into a sextet.
In the months leading to the release of The Seventh Sun, Bury Tomorrow have been putting out a series of singles to whet the appetite of the fans: Abandon Us, Boltcutter, Heretic – featuring a contribution from While She Sleeps’ Loz Taylor - and Begin Again and been periodically issued since October 2022 and show something of a different side to the band.
No longer are they settled in the Metalcore genre and are looking – and succeeding – at breaking out of those confines to spread the creative wings. Abandon Us, Boltcutter and Heretic don’t stray too far from the band’s roots in their composition.; all embrace those ‘core elements and mix in a hearty dollop of the Post Hardcore, giving the rough and ready attacks an emotional centre amid the gruff vocals and big bomb drops of explosive sound.
Begin Again, takes something of a more subtle route, unpicking the tender side of the band’s music with emotionally wrought clean vocals in competition with Daniel Winter-Bates’ growls as walls of guitars rise up.
The changes to Bury Tomorrow mean the dynamic of song-writing and composition has also changed and the influences of artists like Bjork, Thrice and 30 Seconds to Mars sits comfortably alongside the name-checking of Sepultura, Korn and Slipknot. There are certainly times across The Seventh Sun where those non-metal inspirations hold sway: the cinemascope tone of Recovery and the atmospheric piano lines intersecting – I’m resisting any Nigel Tufnel references here – lay the foundation for that song to explode in a symphony of musical exploration.
The closing track, The Carcass King, is the cumulation of the album’s intent and whatever demons have been haunting Bury Tomorrow to this point seem suitably laid to rest in this banquet of a song. The creation of which, according to the singer, was no idea was off the table, freeing all members to be as creative as possible.
The holding musical thread running through The Seventh Sun is a Parkway Drive vibe. Forced Divide, Wrath and the title track owe a nod to the Byron Bay pioneers and, in many ways, this record could be to Bury Tomorrow what Ire was to Parkway: the signifier of a movement away from the past into a brave new world.
Dan Weller’s production is crystal clear and he draws a career-best performance from the band as a whole. The cross-pollination of their Metalcore roots with the inclusion of a bigger, bolder, more accessible without being less aggressive sound, paves the way to follow the path blazed by Parkway Drive and to see Bury Tomorrow elevated to their rightful place at the head of the modern British metal movement.