Album Premiere: Burial In The Sky – The Consumed Self
It took me a little less than 15 minutes of listening to The Consumed Self to determine it was easily Burial In The Sky’s best album.
Let’s back up a bit. Burial In The Sky released their first full(ish)-length album, Persistence of Thought, back in 2016 at a time when a fair amount of the tech death landscape was hopping on the Fallujah atmo-tech bandwagon. The quality of it was all over the spectrum, too; just that year, Inanimate Existence released the poorly-realized Calling from a Dream and Virvum put out their resplendent debut in Illuminance. Fallujah themselves released Dreamless, a contentious follow-up to The Flesh Prevails. Among these releases, I posited Persistence of Thought was one of the stronger releases, a potential usurper for the atmospheric tech death throne upon which Fallujah had held an iron grip.
Time, as it turns out, is a hell of thing; of the aforementioned albums, the only one I still regularly listen to is Illuminance. Perspectives change, and the atmo-trend has died down a bit, the bands having finished their astral excursions and returning to the realm of the real. It’s probably for the best, too; a lot of the releases that people picked up on were starting to sound a little homogenized, and for all the good ideas these bands had, I’m glad to hear a little more variety in the genre.
So where does this leave Burial In The Sky, a band who emerged in the thick of all this? As you might expect, they have also descended, though not entirely to earth; the atmospheric parts were a huge part of the band’s sound on previous albums, and that hasn’t changed here. Instead, the band seems to have reevaluated how they explore that side of their music; it no longer forms the bulk of the album, instead being used at key points for maximum impact. The majority of The Consumed Self is more riff-driven, more solid for lack of a better term. It’s powerful melodic stuff, more aggressive, more focused, but tempered with the measured use of airy atmospheric sections.
And there’s sax. Oh yeah, is there ever some sax, and it’s all the sexy sax man sax jams you could hope for.
But for all of this, I think my favorite new facet of the band is the addition of regularly-appearing clean vocals; I’m not sure which member performs them, but they’re surprisingly soft-spoken and soothing save for one powerful break in the middle of one of the more aggressive tunes. At risk of playing them up a bit too much, their effectiveness (if not necessarily how prolific they are) is reflective of the latest Kardashev album. I’m a big fan of this quiet, breathy style popping up to complement the blistering riff-fest that makes up the majority of the album, and I wouldn’t mind hearing more of this side of the band in the future.
“But Spear!” you exclaim, having read all of this but not the article title for some reason, “when can I listen to this album, which you have so proficiently and eloquently built hype for?” Well, I have some good news for you, dear impatient reader: you can listen to this bad boy right the fuck now. I’m happy to present to you The Consumed Self in all its glory right at this very moment. Without further ado, click play and jam out: