Buried Inside - Spoils of Failure
Relapse Records
8 songs (53:52)
Release year: 2009
Official Website, Relapse Records
Reviewed by Charles
Coming on very much like former Relapse labelmates, Neurosis, but with perhaps a less grimy, more accessible sound also reminiscent of Isis or Pelican, Buried Inside hit real emotional highs on The Spoils of Failure. The album consists of eight anonymous tracks (they are given numbers rather than names), each building to something truly immense from the basic tools at their disposal: slow tempos over pensive, frequently harmonically static vamps; hoarse, passionate vocals; and a metallic, crushing guitar tone.

The impressive thing about this is the further depths they manage to discover in a genre that is already known for its capacity to stir the feelings. Much of the credit for this must go to the instrumental performances. I love Michael Godbout’s drumming on this record, and it seems nearly every track owes much of its intensity and charisma to him. Throughout I his looping, almost militaristic snare rolls give the track a funereal but hypnotic quality, as it pins the guitar crashes and throatal roars that crawl around it firmly in place. At other points, he unleashes furious blastbeats for periods of a few seconds, switching the whole band up a gear. His efforts throughout VII are sensational, adding a superhuman power to proceedings as the tempo picks up into a lurching rock.

A second factor is the sense of melody. The “ambient” side that is often capitalised upon in this type of music is played down; the band’s delivery is often proactive. Lead guitar lines are frequently left to meander freely, often resulting in the location of strong melody lines that also do a lot to lift this. At times it even seems to lurk in between the acts of performing a solo and finding a riff to fit around the tonality (although the times when it falls fully into the former camp are few and far between).

Overall, the album is slow burning and menacing, but while there’s ultimately little variety in approach throughout, they manage to inject substantial colour through strong performances. This makes the crescendos that they have to rise towards all the more powerful. No doubt one of the stronger releases of its type this year.

Killing Songs :
Charles quoted 80 / 100
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