The time is now! The entirety of the new After The Burial album “Dig Deep” is now live and streaming courtesy of the good people over at Metal Injection and Sumerian Records! This effort will officially be released tomorrow, February 19th through the aforementioned record label. So, as one might expect, pre-orders are available now. To whom it may concern, you can grab yours by CLICKING HERE.
Before I even start this review, it’s absolutely necessary to pay respects to the late Justin Lowe. This is, unfortunately, the band’s first album release date without their founding member and genius guitarist. He tragically passed away over the summer during the time of the recording process for “Dig Deep”. If you haven’t heard of the tragedy, you can learn more by clicking here. Through his passionate songwriting and forward thinking musical abilities, Justin touched the lives of countless people through After The Burial. For this, he remains in our heads and hearts never to be forgotten. I’d like to think he’s still out there in spirit playing the “Bezerker” riff behind his head.
R.I.P. Justin Lowe
Prior to this stream, the band released two singles – “Lost In The Static” and “Collapse”. The first of these came complete with a VHS infused music video. In a number of ways, these lead singles help set the tone for the duration of the album without giving away the whole picture. And appropriately so, seeing as they’re the first two tracks running on “Dig Deep”. The rest of the album sets twists and surprises like traps for the ears in a way that only a band like After The Burial can. You may find your attention being caught on prime cuts like “The Endless March” (which was originally expected on “Wolves Within”), the nostalgic energy and hilarious air horn on “Laurentian Ghosts”, the monstrous groove of “Mire”, the riffs of “Deluge”, and the bouncy-as-fuck crowd mover “Heavy Lies The Ground”. Though, to be entirely realistic here, every track has its own merits in kind.
The LP runs at 9 songs. This is, frankly, normal for an After The Burial record. In a fair few ways, the band has maintained a focus on quality over quantity for the duration of their careers. This has really shown in the best way possible as the unit has become a cult classic to many.
This is, for all intents and purposes, how one would likely expect ATB to come across in the year 2016. The sound is very modern and fine tuned on a technical level. The groove is bountiful. The levels of heaviness and low reaching tonality are astounding. This is truly the work of audiophiles.
I think it’s worth noting that, sound wise, this might be the most crisp After The Burial record to date. One of my key gripes with the outfit’s previous album laid purely on sound quality and a certain lack of consistency. This time around, the presentation shines through damn near crystal clear and consistent which is obviously good for the overall listening experience. Every instrument is given proper attention as they weave the musical fabric of “Dig Deep”.
I don’t necessarily have any negative criticisms of “Dig Deep”. In reality, it probably won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. For example, if you’re one of those people always bitching about djent – this probably isn’t for you. Also, if you’re expecting this outing to be thoroughly original or different, you may be disappointed. That’s not to say some boundaries aren’t pushed. This is After The Burial we’re talking about here.
To sum things up, I believe Justin would be proud to see the final cut of this album. “Dig Deep” serves as a beautiful testament to the fortitude of After The Burial as both people and musicians. After suffering such tragedy, they’ve returned to form in a well-engineered exhibition of greatness. This LP stands as a worthy addition to the band’s long running and ever growing legacy. I can easily score this one at a 9 out of 10 with potential for a higher score upon further listening. We all know how music grows on us.
As mentioned, you can listen to the full album right now! The stream can be found above along with a choice track. You can also check out the music video for “Lost In The Static” by CLICKING HERE. Tell us what you thought of “Dig Deep” either in the comments below or over on Facebook! Also be sure to show After The Burial your support if you enjoy the music as much as we did \m/