After The Burial

In Dreams

01. My Frailty
02. Your Troubles Will Cease and Fortune Will Smile Upon You
03. Pendulum
04. Bread Crumbs & White Stones
05. To Carry You Away
06. Sleeper
07. Promises Kept
08. Encased in Ice

[Sumerian | 11/23/10]

Ever since the re-release of Rareform in 2009 with new (and improved) vocalist Anthony Notarmaso, this particular corner of the metal scene (where the microgenres dubbed sumeriancore and djent reside) has been anticipating new music from the Minnesota based quintet. After two years and seemingly endless teasing, After The Burial are dropping the highly anticipated In Dreams.

As any After The Burial fan would come to expect, In Dreams is a very rhythmically driving record, with much emphasis on Meshuggah-influenced fast-paced grooves that, while unoriginal, work very well in coaxing the listener to bob along as the record spins. While breakdowns are the banality that plagues the genre, After The Burial keep things interesting enough in their complexity and overt focus on rhythmic delivery as opposed to having an excuse to throw down in the pit.

While this intention seems a bit more focused on In Dreams, their progressive aspects have taken a bit of a back seat, favoring a more standard approach at songwriting. Generally, the heavier use of guitar wank on Rareform has given way to a spastic epileptic rumble. This decision ultimately works, much to the chagrin of prog fans out there. The solos are still there and sound amazing, but

To what is sure to be much controversy, After The Burial have stepped up on some melodic aspects, with clean vocals being put to use on the songs “Pendulum,” “To Carry You Away,” and “Promises Kept.” In this regard, In Dreams tends to feel more like a heavier metalcore record at times instead of the anticipated deathcore. Regardless, it’s a damn fine metalcore record that, to me, feels a bit more memorable than Rareform, which I never really got into all that much.

The biggest notable difference lies in the production. While the music was good, Rareform sounded awful and suffered because of lackluster production value. In Dreams, however, sounds amazing. There’s none of the clipping that plagued Rareform, and the guitars still manage to sound huge and chunky. Everything just sounds great. Kudos to whoever mixed this thing.

My biggest problem with the album lies in the short runtime. With two years since the release of any significantly new music, one would expect a follow-up record to run longer than a half hour in length. Just as you’re getting into the album, it’s over before you know it. This very well could be a good thing, as to bow out before becoming monotonous, they leave with more to be desired.

While still an up-and-coming band, After The Burial further solidify their place in the scene with In Dreams. When it comes to Sumerian Records sophomore releases, After The Burial have done better than their peers in Veil of Maya and Born of Osiris when it comes to growth right out of the gate. While they haven’t pulled a The Faceless and gotten exceptionally better, they seem to be getting comfortable.

After The Burial – In Dreams gets…

4/5