Friday, September 9, 2011

Bury Your Dead - Mosh N’ Roll

Bury Your Dead
Mosh N’ Roll
Mediaskare Records

After a couple of somewhat experimental and poorly albums with vocalist Myke Terry at the helm (2008’s self titled release and 2009’s ‘It’s Nothing Personal’), Worcester (Boston, Massachusetts) hardcore/metalcore act Bury Your Dead and Terry decided to part ways in early 2011 - giving fans some glimmer of hope that the band would ditch their more recent nu-metal/melodic metalcore direction and return to their brutal and simplistic metallic hardcore sound. When the band finally announced the return of former vocalist Mat Bruso to their ranks after a four absence (Having last appeared on 2006’s ‘Beauty And The Breakdown’, and who in the meantime pursuing a career in teaching), there was an immediate positive reaction from both fans and press alike, and Bury Your Dead looked like they were back on track.
Several months on, and Bury Your Dead (Who now comprise of vocalist Mat Bruso, guitarist Brendan ‘Slim’ MacDonald and drummer Mark Castillo – Who has since parted ways with the band, being replaced by Dustin Schoenhofer) are back with their sixth album ‘Mosh N’ Roll’ - which is also their first release on Mediaskare Records after parting ways with Victory Records.
In the lead up to the album’s release, the band described ‘Mosh N’ Roll’ as a collection of tunes specifically written to be played live. In that context, I can understand what the band was aiming for in terms of sound and direction, with every one of the eleven tracks sounding bruising, simplistic, somewhat melodic and catchy, and downright heavy. In other words, ‘Mosh N’ Roll’ is very much the natural follow up that could have stemmed on from ‘Beauty And The Breakdown’ (Right down to having song titles that are named after Kurt Vonnegut’s literary works), and would no doubt sound perfect in a live setting.
But as an album, ‘Mosh N’ Roll’ is a bit of a disappointment. The bulk of the problem with ‘Mosh N’ Roll’ comes down to a genuine lack of progression from within the band. The opening track ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ (Which is the album’s first single/promotional video clip), the thick chugging groove of ‘Nothing Is Lost Save Honor’, ‘Deadeye Dick’, ‘Slapstick’ and ‘Jailbird’ are all great tracks, but you can’t help but feel that given the number of members the band have gone through over the last few years, Bury Your Dead seem content to maintain the status quo rather than push their themselves or their sound. And as for the decision to re-record (yet again) the title track ‘Mosh N’ Roll’ (Making it a third time that its appeared on a Bury Your Dead album), well I think that only reinforces my point.
Putting aside my own expectations (Which didn’t amount to much given that I quite enjoyed both the Bruso and Terry eras of the band), ‘Mosh N’ Roll’ is a solid enough release, but far the best compared to what the band have produced in the past.

For more information on Bury Your Dead, check out - http://www.myspace.com/buryyourdead

© Justin Donnelly