Not many pieces were missing from Bury Tomorrow‘s 2009 debut full-length Portraits. One thing in particular was, however, extremely dissatisfying: lead screamer Dani Winter-Bates’ unwelcome belting. More often than not, the balance rests in the clean vocalist’s hands, but not in this instance. Guitarist/clean vocalist Jason Cameron absolutely slays on the record yet he is still overshadowed by Bates’ less than appealing commotion. So upon the band’s signing with Nuclear Blast in 2011 and the announcement of their new album, I was only mildly excited. Even with all the other great things in place, with regard to the band’s talents, the lingering racket of Bates’ howl simply could not be erased from my memory.
Anyway, enough of Portraits and me being so judgmental of its insides – it was really just like me being tough on a child that had a lot of promise (if you get what I’m saying).
In mid-to-late 2011, Bury Tomorrow released the first of three singles from the soon-to-be The Union of Crowns, and my, was it a lovely surprise. “Lionheart” displayed Bates in a completely new element: an above average-level screamer (Holy Shit!). This, paired with Cameron’s outright dominance behind the mic-stand called for a stunning sophomore effort, right? Correct.
When the second and third singles “Royal Blood” and “An Honourable Reign” both displayed the sheer force and power that the first showed, I knew the album would be a treat. Perhaps I should say, it still is, considering I have only been listening to it for the past few days. I have been through the album a dozen times or so in that period of time and I have yet to come up with a negative. Does that necessarily mean it will be the best metalcore album to pass through your ears this year? I can neither answer yes or no to that question. What I can say is that the record bombards the debut in all facets, and Bates is the clear reason. But let’s not make this review too repetitive, okay?
From its onset, The Union of Crowns forces itself upon you with its instrumental destruction. While the group performed to par in the previous effort, they pop in a birdie with the current (pardon the golf talk). Their blend of metal, rock and hardcore is outstanding, filling tracks with solos, soaring vocals, breakdowns and harmonies. Perchance, Nuclear Blast laid some pipe in the studio? Who really knows? All I can say is that between the band’s devastating increase in thunder and Bates’ staggering improvement as a frontman, something changed – and for the better, obviously (Crap, mentioned Bates again – apologies, sincerely).
To conclude, I wish to mention “Kingdom” and all of its breath-capturing magnificence. Personally, I believe my man-crush on Jason Cameron has not yet peaked during this little piece. I direct my reasoning to the unwavering improvements shown from 2009 to 2012. However, it is now time for me to clean up the drool and pick my chin up off the floor. Cameron is a flawless and elegant specimen. Maybe that came out wrong? He sings wonderfully. OK, now that was just too basic and generic. Try again. Cameron is essentially a magician. Oh yeah, check out “Kingdom.”
Instead of saying the same thing over and over, either too vivid, or too simple, maybe I should just show you readers some other albums, in which case if you enjoyed those, you will more than likely enjoy Bury Tomorrow’s 2012 effort.
For Those Who Like: Miss May I’s Apologies Are for the Weak – Architects’ Hollow Crown – I, The Breather’s Truth and Purpose