After two increasingly impressive and adventurous albums — 2016’s Persistence of Thought and 2018’s Creatio et Hominus — Philadelphia’s Burial in the Sky are returning with a third full-length named The Consumed Self, which will be released on August 13th by Rising Nemesis Records. If anything, it’s an even more adventurous amalgam of technical and progressive death metal than the records which preceded it, and even more elaborate and multi-faceted in both its compositional approach and its textures of tone and mood.
This is a band bursting with ideas, and they’re not timid about showing that. All the members also happen to be highly skilled performers, and that’s what makes possible the realization of their most high-flying ideas — and the somehow seamless juxtaposition of dramatically changing emotions and styles, bewildering or bone-smashing in one moment and then visionary or entrancing the next.
The first single released from the album, “An Orphaned City“, vividly displays the key ingredients that define Burial in the Sky‘s sound — the mind-boggling fretwork carnival rides, the fluid melodies, the doses of groove that hit like crowbars to the vertebrae, the ferocious growls and incendiary screams, and a smoky and soulful saxophone solo that pulls the song into a different and seductive space in advance of a searing crescendo.
The second single, “Anatomy Of Us“, is an even more ambitious undertaking in which the band seem to throw everything they’ve got into the mix. A nearly 13-minute extravaganza, it opens in dreamlike fashion with ringing acoustic notes, the gripping wail of a lonesome-whistle melody, and heartfelt singing — and then begins to clobber and coil the tension in a passage where the saxophone again makes a prominent and mesmerizing impression.
The song thunders and soars in panoramic and even celestial fashion. The tempos change dramatically. The fretwork races the pulse and spins the mind, swirls and darts, jitters and jabs, while the bass-and-drum combos continually turn on a dime. It includes a sublime symphonic interlude, further episodes of multi-dimensional singing (both ghostly and soaring), creating enormous contrasts with those ferocious growls, and mournful strings at the end.
Which brings us to the third single we’re revealing today. “Mechanisms Of Loneliness“. The opening riff is so immediately electrifying that it could carry the song all by itself. Of course, it doesn’t have to. The heavy-grooved, bone-bruising rhythms, the bursts of jolting syncopation, the monstrous gutturals, the rabid screams, and the magically swirling and flickering leads are damned thrilling too. Clanging chords and head-butting drumwork contribute a dimension of primitive, bludgeoning brutality to the song, and by contrast the multi-instrumental soloing that closes the track is hypnotic.
And there are seven more songs on The Consumed Self, collectively creating nearly an hour of unpredictable adventure.
Visual artist Justin Abraham (Equipoise, Dessiderium, Inanimate Existence) created the album’s cover art. It was produced, engineered, and mastered by Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland at Atrium Audio, known for their work with Rivers of Nihil, August Burns Red, and Black Crown Initiate.
The album features Brad Hettinger as the group’s new second guitarist, as well as an extensive list of a dozen guest artists, who contribute not only additional vocals but also performances on trumpet, trombone, French horn, tuba, euphonium, theremin, cello, and violin.
The album is available for pre-order now, and is likely to appeal to fans of such bands as Black Crown Initiate, Fallujah, Rivers Of Nihil, Alustrium, and Virvum. Current fans of Burial in the Sky are going to be damned happy too.
Digital only: https://risingnemesisrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-consumed-self
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