There's an argument to be made that Bury Tomorrow have been the most improved band in British metal over the last three years. The quartet's decade long stint as an outfit has seen them go from metal bruisers with scores of potential to fire-starters capable of swinging punches with the likes of Architects, Bullet For My Valentine, and While She Sleeps.
The bands ultra good guy, friendly persona has put them in good stead over their last 10 years, but it was last album Earthbound that made you force-ably take notice. New record Black Flame very much feels like the culmination of a wealth of experience, craft, and flammable desire to create the best 45 minutes of metal they possibly could and the truth is Black Flame is all of this and more.
Where Bury Tomorrow have previously been a band capable of making good records with one or two clear spotlight worthy tracks, Black Flame is the bands first step into a cohesive, complete, carnivorous metal record from start to finish. The intention of the album is set out straight away; delicate synths open proceedings before vocalist Dani Winter-Bates takes control of the reigns with his patented low style scream of "Because I'm no less violent" followed by thick, mosh call guitar lines - and there's rarely a moment of let up from here.
Five albums in, you wouldn't be shocked to find Bury Tomorrow potentially pursuing other musical avenues by this point - and they wouldn't be the first metal band to take a direction change after a decade of existence, however this is unequivocally not the case here. If anything - the metal has been doubled down on. 'Strombringer', 'Knife Of Gold', and 'Adrenaline' are all full throttle, steam train metalcore tracks which could burst through a brick wall - it's evident that Bury Tomorrow refused to take half measures going into this album.
You'd be justified in assuming that the title track would be where the record burns at its hottest temperature; a titanic chorus blended together with technical riffs you'd expect to find in a Phinehas record; but it's the one two of 'My Revenge' and 'More Than Mortal' where Black Flame hits its melting point. There's a maturity in the riff structure akin to Parkway Drive throughout both tracks which at no point is substituted for the bands heavy nature. Dan Bates rips a whole through both songs as they sprint there way through the record - there's pace here, there's breakdowns, there's melody, there's balls to the wall straight up metal; this is perfect metalcore.
At its absolute core, Black Flame is the record that Bury Tomorrow have been waiting for, and with it; BT are no longer the band with potential that could one day knock on the door of the big boys, they are now the band that are kicking the door down. We find a band here at the absolute peak of their powers, and the stars seem to be aligning for them at just the right time. Simply put; Black Flame is an instant album of the year contender - long live Bury Tomorrow.
Black Flame is released July 13th via Music For Nations / Sony Music