Tech-Death Tuesday: BURIAL IN THE SKY Deliver One Of 2016's Best Albums On Persistence of Thought
Hey there tech-fiends, it's that time of the week again for some quality blast beats and chill. While I don't usually discuss things unrelated to the week's focus in the intro, I'm making an exception today. Because back in the ye olde early days of 2015, I helped a new tech-death supergroup called Terminus Est premiere their debut single called "Harbinger". Now that they are re-releasing the single with better production, I felt it warranted mentioning. Why you may ask? Because the group consists of Edward Gryn on guitar/vocals who has formerly played live for Nader Sadek, Oliver Pinard from Cryptopsy on fretless bass, and rounded out by none other than Hannes Grossman himself on drums. Be sure to follow Terminus Est on Facebook here after you check out the newly re-done single here. Before we begin todays dive into Burial In The Sky, here's the usual reminder that all prior editions of this series can be perused here.
If you've been following this series since it began last year, some of you may already be familiar with the Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania-based group Burial In The Sky, since I covered their 2014 EP called Transcendence last October in this space. As I predicted, the group definitely capitalized on the talent and ambition they displayed on Transcendence in order to create a truly breathtaking full-length this year called Persistence of Thought. Joining them this time is a new piece of the puzzle in the form of Decrepit Birth drummer Samus Paulicelli, who lays down a tremendous performance on each track of the new album. The band was rightly eager to mention to me that Samus didn't just come in and play parts that had been programmed ahead of time, he spent the time to write all his own drum parts on the album, and it definitely shows. When combined with the phenomenal guitar playing from both a rhythm and lead standpoint, plus all the other additional instruments and sounds the band employs, you end up with an album that outclasses the majority of their tech-death peers.
While I can certainly hear snippets comparable to Rivers Of Nihil and Fallujah within the music here, Burial In The Sky has succeeded in crafting their own unique vision of what proggy atmospheric minded technical death metal can be. Hell, it even gets quasi-ambient and psychedelic at points in an almost Pink Floyd type way. The band doesn't shy away from showcasing the ambitious sound they've crafted, as the album boldly begins with a three-song suite called "Entry", parts one through three. Since most bands tend to leave the multi-part songs until the end, this ends up being a refreshing factor when it comes to giving the album a unique flow that's different than a lot of what you hear. After this multi-song sonic feast, the band takes a left turn on track four, "Anchors". The song begins with a ghostly echoing atmosphere in line with the prior songs but swiftly darts into their most feral and blast beat driven segments on the album. The duality on display throughout this song is very much indicative of the album as a whole, and its a big part of what I love about Persistence of Thought. After "Anchors", the album ends with "Galaxy of Ghosts" and "Dimensions Divide", both of which showcase a similar light and dark mixed sonic duality that the band explores like seasoned pros. While a lot of groups ride the divide between the shadows and the heavens, few of them impart a soothing and ethereal emotional impact in their wake like Burial In The Sky do throughout their new album.
While I don't think my opinion is the end all be all when it comes to tech-death, I will go as far as saying that my opinion is shaped by having heard so much more of what's out there than even most hardcore tech-death fans. And as such, I'm excited to say that Persistence of Thought is one of the absolute best progressive death metal records I've heard all year within the tech-death sphere. So hit play below for our slightly early stream of Persistence of Thought, which officially drops this Friday, November 4th. It can be purchased in digital form through Bandcamp here, and I've been told that physical copies of the album will be available as well in the weeks to come. Be sure to follow Burial In The Sky over on Facebook as well.