Bury Your Dead – Mosh N’ Roll (2011)

Posted: July 27, 2011 in Music

Very few bands have had the turbulent history that has cursed Massachusetts’ Bury Your Dead. Sucker-punched with one problem after another, it’s actually amazing that we are even writing about them today. In fact, it’s even more astonishing that the band has even been around long enough to BE written about. Like any good soap opera, it’s been one dramatic episode after another. Here’s the recap…

Episode #1: The band recorded and released You Had Me At Hello in 2002. Playing a more hardcore sound than many of the more technical metalcore acts in the region, the band was quick to gather a fan base based on their energetic, pummeling live performances. The band toured the Northeast for as long as their gas money would take them, and created quite a buzz. Just when their name was starting to get heard outside of Massachusetts, they – inexplicably – broke up. The sad but true tale of so many bands. The inevitable “one-and-done.”

Episode #2: Several months after the group disbanded, bassist Rich Casey and guitarist Brendan “Slim” MacDonald had second thoughts, and met to discuss getting the band back together. They ran the idea past former drummer Mark Castillo (who was now employed with Between the Buried and Me), who agreed to give the band one last chance. The band acquired a new singer in the form of Mat Bruso, and word got out that Bury Your Dead was alive once again.

Episode #3: After signing with Victory Records, the band released two well-received albums – 2004’s Cover Your Tracks & 2006’s Beauty and the Breakdown. Now known world-wide after stints on Ozzfest and the Strhess Tour, the band had reached the peak of their popularity. Perfect time to shake things up again.

Episode #4: For reasons cited only as wanting “more important things like going back to school to become a teacher,” Bruso left the band abruptly in 2007. A short stint with replacement singer Michael Crafter (I Killed the Prom Queen) led to a more permanent replacement with former Cassius frontman Myke Terry. But the band was never really the same.

Episode #5: Terry continued to front the band (which had more, less-important lineup changes) through the late 2000s. 2008 saw the release of a self-titled album, which critics pretty much ignored and fans pretty much hated. Terry was a hardcore singer from a hardcore band that just switched gigs to a different hardcore band, so it should have worked, but something strange happened along the way. The band suddenly had transformed into a more melodic, less energetic version of themselves. The songs changed from beatdown hardcore anthems to more structured, emotional metalcore sounds. Terry even experimented with some clean singing, and it was honestly a disaster.

Episode #6: I suspect even God hated the new version of Bury Your Dead, as on September 24, 2008, the band was involved in a van accident in Ottawa, Canada. The vehicle, which rolled several times before ending up in a ditch, nearly ended the band in the most brutal sense. Fortunately, everyone survived, but it foreshadowed the next two years.

Episode #7: 2009 saw the band released It’s Nothing Personal, and it was obvious that the band was done. They tried to pump out a few singles, but it was apparent from the release that no one really cared anymore. The band tried to keep a positive attitude, and continued to tour in support of the album, but were usually drowned out while playing to the chants of “Bring back Mat!” echoing from the crowds.

Episode #8: While not “officially” breaking up, several members left the band throughout 2010, leaving the group’s status in a questionable state. Rumors swirled, and the band quit updating their social media sites online. Were they done? Were they just on hiatus? It probably didn’t matter either way, as they had lost their original fan base and the “new” sound didn’t create any fresh fans, either.

This is where the story should have – mercifully – ended. The metal community, myself included, shut the coffin on Bury Your Dead, remembering them for a couple of great albums and a couple of shitty ones. We all made the mistake of not nailing it shut, though, as early this year chatter started up of yet another album.

I didn’t care. I wasn’t even interested anymore. That is until I heard the two words I’d been waiting four years to hear…

“HE’S BAAAAAAACK!”

In one of the most surprising turn of events in recent years, Mat Bruso agreed to rejoin the band and Myke Terry was shown the door. Terry remains a little bent out of shape concerning his dismissal, but claims he was ready for a solo career anyway. Yeah, good luck with that, buddy. At least with a solo career he doesn’t have the opportunity to single-handedly destroy any other band out there.

But even I was a bit skeptical. The band had lost its hardcore edge several albums ago, and while Bruso was bound to punch some new life into the project, could they ever get back to sounding like the Bury Your Dead we all grew to love?

You bet your fucking ass they can.

Mosh N’ Roll brings back all the good elements, while filling the dumpster with the clean melodies, fancy guitars, and emo cry-a-longs that nearly destroyed them. They are back to doing what they’ve always done best – inciting mosh riots and kicking your head in. Sometimes when you lose something, only to find it again years later, it somehow seems new again. That’s exactly the scenario here. It’s nothing you haven’t heard before – it’s just something you haven’t heard in a very long time. For me, that makes it just fresh and exciting enough to get behind.

I think it was a smart move on the band’s part to not do too much here. Write some new tracks, but keep them in line with the old sound. Get the fans back, hit the road, and pick up where you left off in 2007. It’s not going to surprise me one bit if the fans come back in drones. This is, after all, what they wanted.

Forgetting Terry & the last two albums will be easy. Hell, I pretty much already have after just one listen of Mosh n’ Roll. Hopefully Bruso keeps this unit hard and forceful for many more albums to come, but then again, this IS Bury Your Dead. They are just as likely to be broken up by Christmas, so let’s just enjoy this one while we can…

7/10

Tracklist:
1. Slaughterhouse-Five
2. Nothing Is Lost Save Honor
3. Bluebeard
4. The Sirens of Titan
5. Deadeye Dick
6. Timequake
7. Sun Moon Star
8. Slapstick
9. Mother Night
10. Jailbird
11. Mosh N’ Roll

http://www.amazon.com/Mosh-N-Roll/dp/B005B1ZYE0/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1311803022&sr=1-2

MySpace: Link | Wiki: Link

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Comments
  1. JSmith says:

    BYFD!

  2. mike says:

    What heavy music is supposed to sound like!

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