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Bury Your Dead - "Beauty And The Breakdown" (CD)

Bury Your Dead - "Beauty And The Breakdown" CD cover image

"Beauty And The Breakdown" track listing:

1. House Of Straw
2. A Glass Slipper
3. The Poison Apple
4. Twelfth Stroke Of Midnight
5. Trail Of Crumbs
6. A Wishing Well
7. Let Down Your Hair
8. Mirror, Mirror...
9. Second Star To The Right
10. The Enchanted Rose
11. House Of Brick

Reviewed by on August 7, 2006

"Bury Your Dead is not the type of band that is going to hit you with many changes of pace or drawn out instrumentations, and they know their niche"

Bury Your Dead’s third full-length album, “Beauty and the Breakdown,” marks a new direction for the New England hardcore champions. Formerly, Bury Your Dead radiated such a completely stripped-down, raw sound that they were easily distinguishable from any other hardcore act. “Beauty and the Breakdown,” on the other hand, has taken a turn toward the more polished studio acts, straying from the raw sound that they’ve become known for while even adding electronic segments to many of the tracks. It's not so much the vocal style or arrangement that have changed, as Mat Bruso continues to deliver angry hardcore yells on every track, never delving into melodic moments. More so, it’s the loss of the bare-bones drums and guitars that have been a Bury Your Dead trademark. Also marking a change for Bury Your Dead is the switch from the “all Tom Cruise” track titles of their last album, “Cover Your Tracks,” to a knew fairytale inspired approach, with songs such as “House of Straw” and “House of Brick” (opening and closing tracks) and “Mirror, Mirror.”

In a way, it’s unfortunate to lose the unique sound that Bury Your Dead brought to the table, but “Beauty and the Breakdown” is good enough to thrust the Bostonian quintet into the limelight, and with perfect timing as they head out on the more popular-band stocked Family Values tour. Much of the slick sound is owed to the production of Jason Suecoff (Trivium, God Forbid), who has helped the band formulate a much more catchy album capable of bringing in a larger fan base, while at the same time maintaining much of the brutality of the previous Bury Your Dead endeavors. Furthermore, the album is able to live up to its namesake, as the entire venture feels like one big breakdown. This is echoed by the short length of the album (around 34 minutes), which makes for a tight, focused experience. Bury Your Dead is not the type of band that is going to hit you with many changes of pace or drawn out instrumentations, and they know their niche.

The tracks on “Beauty and the Breakdown” are all quality—not a weak song in the batch. The aforementioned “House of Straw” is a strong opener, setting the tone with an electronic intro which lets the listener know immediately that this is an entirely new sound for the Bury Your Dead. “Twelfth Stroke of Midnight,” one of the strongest tracks on the album, showcases the brilliance of Bury Your Dead, packing a ferocious-yet-catchy hardcore track in only a two-minute time frame. “Second Star to the Right” is another standout track, as it features what might be Bury Your Dead’s catchiest chorus to date.

Bury Your Dead thrives on live shows, as they demonstrated in one of the most memorable metal DVD releases, “Bury Your Dead Alive,” and their sound has always been tailored to the stage. The quality of “Beauty and the Breakdown,” though, has trumped the band’s previous album releases in a major way. Now, Bury Your Dead will have more than just their live act to hand their hats on.

Highs: New, slick-sounding production is more accessible

Lows: Loss of a unique sound

Bottom line: One of the best hardcore acts going

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)