For metalheads, the 2000s went down in history as a decade in which Europe dominated death metal, black metal, goth metal, and folk metal while North America dominated hardcore-related music (including traditional metalcore, technical metalcore, and the screamo/post-hardcore/melodic hardcore style). But there are exceptions to that rule, and Bury Tomorrow are among the screamo bands that came out of England in the late 2000s. Portraits, which was released by Basick Records in the U.K. in October 2009 and on Razor & Tie's Artery label in the United States in March 2010, is a British recording with a very American sound. Heaven knows, screamo has given listeners a glut of totally forgettable bands, but Portraits is a generally decent, if mildly uneven, outing from these Southampton residents. That isn't to say that the material is groundbreaking or distinctive; countless other bands have embraced this type of sound. But Bury Tomorrow do a better job of integrating the extreme and melodic elements than much of the competition. Tracks like "Her Bones in the Sand," "Anything with Teeth," "The Western Front," and "Evolution of Self" don't pretend to point screamo (or melodic hardcore or post-hardcore, if you prefer) in any new directions, but they are better constructed and better performed than a lot of similar tunes from similar bands. Portraits isn't a five-star treasure, but it is still a cut above many of the screamo/post-hardcore/melodic hardcore releases of the late 2000s/early 2010s.
by Alex Henderson