Up to now, melodic deathcore quintet After The Burial
is certainly becoming one of the rising names of the said genre. Since 2004, they released such hits as âRareform
â in 2008 and their latest âIn Dreams
â in 2010. However, the record in which the band made their first step forward into the metal scene would be âForging a Future Self
â from 2006. Although in terms of comparison, the second full-length âRareform
â has always been the groupâs best effort, this album was nothing short of enjoyable. It held great hooks and structures, along with awesome melodies and polyrhythmic breakdowns, particularly âPi (the Mercury God
),â where the rhythms were based on the numbers of pi (3.14â¦). With nice tidbits like these, it was a very solid start for the band, and it propelled them to newer heights over the years. However, 2013 would see the re-recording of three tracks from the album into one EP entitled âThis Life Is All We Have
.â As a callback to the bandâs past efforts, this brief release would either serve as a nice enhancement or a troubling deprecation of some of âForging a Future Self
One thing that mostly has not shifted between the two releases is the musicianship, except for the vocals. Starting off, while the aggressive vocals in âForging a Future Self
â were more throaty and did sound a little too forced, the ones in this EP are definitely more favorable. They possess a great range from highs to lows, and the vocalist manages to execute it almost effortlessly. Sadly, if there is one thing that really needed improvement before, it would be the clean vocals. While not terrible, they did sound awfully forced and somewhat weak, and unfortunately, that didn't change in this release, and does prove to be not a devastating but still rather distracting flaw. The guitars and drums, on the other hand, are very stellar, showing great complexity without compromising focus. The guitars play potent melodies and polyrhythms that know their way around sticking to listenersâ heads, and the drums sound very solid and explosive. Both elements coalesce to perform as a nice duo of instrumentalism. On top of that, the sound production is also stellar, and is a nice update to the previous albumâs mixing. It sounds more robust and resonant, and it made the music more powerful. Standing alone, both the musicianship and the production hold up nicely.
In terms of comparisons towards the original material, âThis Life Is All We Have
â is a relatively big step up. Although at this day and age the music itself is quite generic in the scene, it nonetheless has much to take pleasure in. The songs are very well structured, and they know when to shift gears in terms of speed and mood in order to keep the audienceâs attention. On top of that, the fact that this release is only three tracks long also helps in the album leaving a larger, more concentrated impact once itâs finished. In terms of the melodies and polyrhythms, some of it is a tad dated at this point in time, but for newcomers, they are nonetheless very solid. This is especially the case with âFingers Like Daggers
,â which enters with a euphoric acoustic guitar melody that sort of has an Arabesque tone to it, and then explodes into a flurry of melodic and technical metal that knows how to keep you engaged with its hooks and structures. This all makes this track the highlight of the EP, even though the other tracks fare well. Although, taking all these elements into consideration, the album is a tad far from perfect, the melodic and technical metal is nonetheless great.
In terms of both the old and the new, âThis Life Is All We Have
â works both ways rather strongly; it is a solid revisit to older After The Burial
fans who especially marveled âForging a Future Self
,â as well as it is a nice introduction to the bandâs sonic melody and technicality for newcomers. The musicianship, despite the clean singing being a tad weak, is overall well done and has stepped up in terms of the aggressive vocals. The sound production is also great, since it makes the music more crisp and potent. On top of that, the music is very good, having great structure and buildup with nice grips and hooks for both the melodies and the complex breakdowns. Even though the music itself is not as fresh as it used to be, it nonetheless holds its ground well, and is a nice quick dose of sonic metal. If youâre a fan of fusions of melodic and technical death metal with some hardcore influence to generate the rowdiness, then there is a good chance you will enjoy this album. Hence the title of the original release, After The Burial
has forged its future self with the sounds of their first steps in the metal realm.