After the Burial, a five-piece progressive deathcore band from Minnesota, is back with a new album titled In Dreams. After the Burial's last release was a re-release of their second album Rareform. The re-release featured their new vocalist, Anthony Notarmaso. Anthony was welcomed by the band with open arms and has continued to help After the Burial take their act to the next level.
Starting from the beginning of the album, After the Burial picks up where they left off. My Frailty is the traditional technical/melodic masterpiece with a little bit of brutalness mixed in that you would expect from After the Burial. This song features a very good solo, which lasts for about a minute of shredding. Guitarists Trent and Justin have a great chemistry between them and it really shows in this song.
The second song on In Dreams is Your Troubles Will Cease and Fortune Will Smile Upon You. This song is fairly repetitive and does not feature a lot of extraordinary guitar work. There is a lot of chugging in this song, but nonetheless, it is still a decent song. However, this is one of those songs that someone could headbang to throughout the whole song, because it is almost non-stop heaviness.
Next is one of my favourite tunes on the album, Pendulum. It opens up with a very soothing guitar part and a nice little mini solo, which is repeated through most of the song. Then comes the smash in your face heaviness again. Following the heaviness comes an interesting part in this song. Clean Vocals. After hearing this song for the first time, I had "We lose control" stuck in my head for several hours. After the Burial jumps right back into the heaviness with an intense breakdown and high-pitched screams which further showcases Anthony's range.
Bread Crumbs & White Stones is next up on our journey. This may be one of the strangest names for a song I have heard in a long time. It was released by the band about a month prior to the release of In Dreams, and had been one of my most played songs since then. This song showcases the abilities of Anthony again as he experiments with the very high screams in this song as well. The high point of this song is near the middle. The breakdown is a little repetitive, but the vocals suit it well, and it is just super heavy. The high scream that Anthony does gets to me every time. I don't know what about it amazes me so much. I guess you'll just have to decide for yourself.
The fifth track, my personal favourite, is titled To Carry You Away. Like Pendulum, this song starts off with another soothing guitar part and slowly progresses into the After the Burial that most people know and love. This song features a few very good guitar riffs, clean vocals that suit the song perfectly, a breakdown(you don't say), and a face-melting solo.
Sleeper is next on our agenda. This is definitely the heaviest song on the album. Right from the get go, it is heavy. Awesome vocals, good drumming, good breakdowns, and decent guitar work can be heard in this song. Sleeper is a song created by After the Burial for the headbangers in the crowd, or the headbangers in their room or car!
The seventh track is Promises Kept. Similarly to Pendulum and To Carry You Away, this song opens up with another soothing intro and features clean vocals that are very reminiscent to the clean vocals of Haste the Day. This is one of those love it or hate it songs. Many people won't like this song if they don't like clean vocals. There are a fair bit of them, but I personally love them. It adds another dimension to the band. However, for those people who do not like the clean vocals, I'm sure they will change their mind about the song after hearing the ending breakdown.
Lastly, we come to Encased In Ice. Another masterpiece on In Dreams. Parts of this song were featured on their promo video that was seen on the YouTube page of Sumerian Records. This song has a little bit of a different direction than After the Burial's usual stuff. It almost has a nu-metal type feel to it. Nevertheless, it is another very good song with a very catchy interlude before the mini solo. I have found myself saying "We are nothing more than memories" several times, when I'm just sitting around the house.
In Dreams does not seem quite as technical as Rareform. That being said, it is still an incredible album and the occasional clean vocals add a little more dimension to the songs.