Ignoring the fact that gravity is going to make burying someone in the sky rather difficult, we’re obliged to say that enjoyment of The Consumed Self, Burial In the Sky’s 3rd album, is far easier to achieve!
With technical / progressive death metal forming a solid backbone, Burial In The Sky aren’t afraid to mix shit up in the name of progression with semi-acoustic, almost ‘lounge’ moments tempering the ferocity. It’s fair to say that this kind of playful toying with genre is standard when it comes to progressive death metal but Burial In The Sky are particularly adept at challenging preconceptions.
The haunting, almost whimsical, nature of opening track “The Soft Violet Light” gently leads us into a whirlwind of technical wizardry, guttural growls, tenacious use of sinewy sax and all manner of slippery time changes as “An Orphaned City” lays wate to your face. Short and snappy, “An Orphaned Cry” avoids meandering into epic song length and, instead, focuses on delivering a rapid-fire assault of tech death mastery.
Sparse clean vocals are judiciously introduced into “On Wings of Providence” (and damn effective they are to!) but you can’t help but feel that, impressive as these early songs are, Burial In The Sky are going through the tech death motions as opposed to really pushing their art – this is despite The Consumed Self already being far superior to 2018’s sporadic Creatio et Hominus.
However, push on and The Consumed Self truly starts to reveal its intricate charms. “Mechanisms of Loneliness” is revelatory in comparison to the songs that precede it with the ‘prog’ in Burial In The Sky’s artistry coming fully to the fore. For want of a better description, they soar!
Fortunately, what follows is very simple to describe as the brutal “Mountains Pt. 1 – To Ascend”, the alluring Pink Floyd does death-esque “Mountains Pt. 2 – Empathy”, the supple and substantial “Caught In the Azure Cradle” and the epic “Anatomy of Us” are better songs on every conceivable level. Layered and immersive, they hit that ‘metal’ sweet spot while also providing surprises galore; none-more-so than on 12 minute closer “Anatomy Of Us”, a song which encapsulates the astonishing potential Burial In The Sky possess when they allow themselves to fly.
A bewilderingly complex album whose delights lay poised, waiting patiently in the latter half of the album, The Consumed Self is as surprising as it is satisfying. Fans of Rivers of Nihil, Beyond Creation, Alustrium and Cryptic Shift should check this shit out! 8/10
Burial In The Sky’s The Consumed Self was released on August 13th, 2021 via Rising Nemesis Records.