“Tragedy can induce strength” quotes the press release accompanying Dig Deep, the new album from Sumerian Records tech metal hard-hitters After The Burial and, in this case, never has a truer word been spoken. Following the tragic suicide of guitarist and founding member Justin Lowe in July 2015, midway through the recording of this album, nobody at all would have been surprised if those recordings never saw the light of day. However, the band regrouped, battled through a horrific situation and the end result is quite something.
Yes, it’s techy and very Sumerian in its sound but, listening to the jarring ferocity of opener “Collapse,” there is just something about this album which feels like you’re listening to a band who are throwing everything and the kitchen sink into their work. It doesn’t let up either as material like “Deluge” and “Lost In The Static” well, quite simply, fucking crush. If you ever turned your nose up at the tech-metal genre because everything sounds the same and very clinical, Dig Deep is the kind of album that could very much change that opinion.
The musicianship is flawless, Antony Nomartaso must have come close to completely losing his shit recording these vocals, such is the raw emotion poured into them and the songs, well, they sound like songs. “Laurentian Ghosts,” “Catacombs” – the former a haunting, crunching ball of emotion, the latter a bone-jarring, throat-shredder of a track – just epitomize everything about the diversity and quality of this album.
Having said all of that though, the musical talent contained in After The Burial has never been in question and Dig Deep is testament to that. However, there is no doubt that this is an album born from adversity and tragedy, and it’s impossible to ignore the fact that you can feel that through every second of this stunning recording.
02. Lost In The Static
05. Laurentian Ghosts
06. Heavy Lies The Ground
08. The Endless March
09. Sway Of The Break
Run Time: 38:52
Release Date: February 19, 2016
Check out the track “Collapse” here.