After the Burial

In Dreams

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Minnesota-based deathcore band After the Burial combine many of the failings of their subgenre with many of its best features and come out with a third album that's not exactly great, but definitely more interesting than many of their peers' work. They know all the moves -- the anthemic, Swedish-melodic-metal-style riffing of Darkest Hour, the Black Dahlia Murder, et al.; the off-time, percussive/industrial grinding sounds of Meshuggah; the muscle-headed bellowing of post-hardcore acts like Emmure; the downtuned breakdowns of all their deathcore peers -- but they combine them in ways that keep the listener focused from track to track, unsure what will come next. Unpredictability is a virtue in metal, as long as it's not gratuitous, and After the Burial's judicious shifting from one style to another, while still sounding like themselves, is impressive. They also throw in some seriously head-spinning jazz/classical/shred guitar solos here and there, to keep fans of fretboard pyrotechnics happy. There's even an emo-ish anthem, "Promises Kept," that begins with some very pretty acoustic guitar work. After the Burial offer something for just about every extreme music fan, except maybe grindcore heads.

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