Album Review: After The Burial – ‘Dig Deep’

Album Review: After The Burial – ‘Dig Deep’

Band: After The Burial
EP: Dig Deep
Genre: Progressive Metal
Date of Release: February 19, 2016
Location: Minnesota, United States
Reviewer: Nick
For Fans Of: Immensely low tunings and polyrhythms

Track Listing:
1. Collapse 4:12
2. Lost in the Static 4:33
3. Mire 4:25
4. Deluge 4:25
5. Laurentian Ghosts 5:02
6. Heavy Lies the Ground 4:46
7. Catacombs 4:24
8. The Endless March 3:38
9. Sway of the Break 3:26

After The Burial have always been a band I’ve had mixed feelings for. There’s no doubt that they have put out some great music in the past, all of the musicians are very gifted players and they’ve definitely always had their identifiable sound. Dig Deep may very well just be the album that changes my views. This is, of course, their first without the sadly departed guitarist Justin Lowe, who had a highly publicised mental breakdown and committed suicide days after disappearing. There’s no doubt that this would have been a very difficult album for them to write, but does that mean the end product is good?

The singles which preceded the release, ‘Collapse’ and ‘Lost In The Static’, are the first on the track list. As you’d expect, they’re very hook-driven and heavy. It’s definitely a good start. ‘Deluge’ reminds me a fair bit of their earlier material in the way the riffs are written, and the solo contains some really cool unison double tracked sections that sit in the mix really well. ‘Heavy Lies The Ground’ displays a sound more in line with their previous album ‘Wolves Within’, and suitably, it’s a fair bit faster and more aggressive than the track that precede it. While it is very clear that this band is still very focused on technicality, Dig Deep contains some very well written songs.

Speaking of the mix, it’s refreshing to hear this band with a decent mix. Wolves Within was their first, featuring songs tuned to drop C# down a whole octave (they played it live using 9 string Ibanez RGs), and, there were definitely some teething problems getting a guitar tuned that low to cut through in a full mix. Those problems have been rectified with Dig Deep, and having some songs in drop G# as well makes for a nice touch for fans of the band’s older material. Will Putney’s last few production jobs have, in my mind, left a little to be desired. But this album is definitely one of his better efforts in the last few years. God knows why the guitar tone on this album is good, yet it was so weak on Northlane’s Node.

After The Burial absolutely knocked it out of the park. Frankly, I would not have been surprised if they called it a day due to the awful circumstances that took place not even 12 months ago. For them to bounce back with an album as strong, heavy, and pissed off as this one is an amazing effort.

Vocals: 8/10
Lyrics: 7.5/10
Percussion: 8.5/10
Songwriting: 8/10
Production: 9/10
Personal Enjoyment: 9/10
Overall IPHYB Rating: 8.5/10

Standout Tracks: Lost In The Static, Deluge, Heavy Lies The Ground

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Album Review: After The Burial – ‘Dig Deep’
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  • jenbek

    I saw them 11/28 last year, the crowd was so great and the other bands gave up some of their time so they could have a longer set and talk a bit. I’m so glad they’re still going on, they still sound like ATB and they’ve never sounded better. Just like Rareform I can’t pick a favorite track.
    Most of it was recorded prior to Justin’s passing, but Trent did a great job doing double duty on 2/19 in mpls as did the rest of the band, and the crowd was hype as fuck. – some footage I took at the show