The elusive third album for most bands can be career defining and sculpt their future or path the way to an early musical departure. ‘Runes’ fortunately is set to do the former for Bury Tomorrow. In a bid to go back to their roots everything about the album is heavier so if you weren’t a fan of ‘Portraits’ and preferred ‘Union Of Crowns’ then you may be in for a shock.
The band have cranked the amp up to 11 and pushed all preconceived notions of metal away to create ‘Runes’. It’s apparent throughout how much Dani Winter-Bates voice has progressed: previously it was Jason’s clean vocals that was the glue to hold their tunes together but now the pair work hand in hand to create some of the most crushing vocals you’ll hear this year.
It isn’t just the vocals which set this album apart it’s each of the five elements joining together to create something monstrous. With the departure of lead guitarist Mehdi last year any doubts that the intensity would decrease need not worry: enter stage left Kristan Dawson.
Opener ‘Man On Fire’ and ‘The Watcher’ have been circling the web for a little while and usually the singles tend to be the high points of an album, but in all honesty every track brings something new to the table. ‘Shadow, A Creator’ is one of the best examples to showcase Kristan’s addition to the band with fast fingered fretting both lifting the intensity and dropping it down a notch when needed.
‘The Torch’ is full of monstrous beatdowns and shows how drummer Adam Jackson is an absolute powerhouse of blasting beats bringing thundering intensity to the breakdowns. This mixed with the sort of chorus you’ll find yourself screaming at the band during a live show will rival older classics such as ‘An Honourable Reign’ and ‘Lionheart’. Although it seems that a lot of tracks on the album could rival these; ‘The Gift’ has more backbone than the average man and ‘Garden Of Thrones’ steamrolls you with pounding guitar riffs and enough crunching breakdowns and deep vocals to keep any mosher happy.
The obliguatory slow(er) song ‘Divine Breath’ doesn’t sound as unnatural as previous Bury Tomorrow slow songs and gives us a quick chance to regain our thoughts and rest our heads. The deluxe version of the album contains three additional tracks, and whilst on some albums these additional tracks are just a ploy to make some extra money for a ‘non standard’ album, we’re treated to the wonderful ‘Hail The Lost’ and two acoustic tracks which allow Jason to take centre stage and melt some ears and capture some hearts.
Bury Tomorrow have gone all in on album number three and it’s their most bruising and engaging record to date: it seems the only way is up. We’re intrigued how the band will possibly top this for album four though.