For Fans Of
Progressive metal is one of those genres that for as many who love it, there are just as many who don’t. That’s probably due to the fact that bands can take it in a great direction and create something stunning or, in contrast, absolutely butcher an album. Take for example Periphery and Animals As Leaders, two bands who excel in this musical area. But now take After the Burial; yeah, you see where this is going.
‘Wolves Within’ is the band’s fourth LP and third on current label, Sumerian Records. The band has been in the business for neatly a decade yet for some reason this album fails to capture like their previous records.
For a nine track album things get old fast. Opening with ‘Anti-pattern‘, a reasonably good track, you’ll get a taste of what every song is like. Breakdowns riffs, licks and solos from the guitars, the occasional audible bass line and deathcore-like vocals.
Get used to that because the only other thing you’ll hear is a little ambience and even that isn’t executed all too great.
It’s not really worth going into any more detail unfortunately for it would only be a waste of reading time. Every song here feels exactly like the one before and after it. The band is clever enough not to reuse riffs but the breakdowns do get suspiciously familiar at times.
The vocal department is brilliant though. Anthony Notarmaso is a solid screamer. His highs, false chords, lows and death growls are all performed passionately and strongly.
In fact, the instrumentation is great all round. You’ll see easily that After the Burial haven’t just picked up some instruments and played. There is a lot of thought and care here and you’d be an idiot no to respect that. But you’re not an idiot if you get a little bored here, that is just understandable.
After the Burial have really got skills that put most bands to shame. It’s a shame that they used them to layer, rinse and repeat every song on ‘Wolves Within’. It’s music, not shampooing. You’ll find it a respectable and honest album but you’ll also want a little something more from this album. So the question remains: when does it stop being progressive and start being generic?