In Dreams review by After The Burial

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  • Released: Nov 23, 2010
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 8.6 (77 votes)
After The Burial: In Dreams
4

Sound — 7
In 2010 we've seen so many bands make radical style shifts that you start to wonder if the government is putting something new in our water supply. Arsis did a complete 180 in terms of sound, My Chemical Romance did a spacey upbeat alternative rock album, and Linkin Park just keeps getting weirder. In each of these cases (and plenty of others) we have seen split opinions on the new albums/ideas/directions of bands. Old fans are lost, new fans are gained, others remain indifferent. Nearly two years ago, I logged on to Ultimate Guitar to catch up on 2008's edition of This Year in Metal. It was there that I first heard of After The Burial. When I got their album, I was instantly greeted by excessive shredding, excessive breakdowns, and excessively technical riffing. And I loved it. In Dreams sees After The Burial take a more simplified approach to music. They go for a more straightforward metalcore sound on this release (which is really a misnomer considering how much metalcore has changed in the past decade). There aren't as many technical riffs on In Dreams, and the album probably has half as many breakdowns as Rareform. I'm ok with this, though, because I could eat a burrito and listen to Rareform and they'd still go into breakdowns more often than I'd pass gas. They've also toned down on the Meshuggah worship, but it's still visible on a few of the tracks. What this album does have, though, is melody. And I'm not just talking about the occasional melodic riff/lead that you'd hear on their older albums. I mean that there's a greater sense of overall melody, direction, and clarity on this album. Many of the riffs flow naturally from one to the next, and the songs follow what seems like a set path. It seemed like every other song on Rareform was a (tasty) riff salad with breakdowns instead of transitions. With a massive case of ADHD. They fixed that issue on In Dreams, but at the cost of losing some of those mind-boggling riffs. ATB are also exploring new sounds on this album by writing more laid back tracks which feature - you guessed it - clean vocals. It seems like every band goes through this phase these days. Some of these softer tracks like Pendulum have generated mixed reactions from fans. It's one of those "if it wasn't an ATB song I wouldn't mind as much" things. I enjoyed the songs because I'm a sucker for melodic music, but, melody isn't really what some ATB fans are looking for. The production on the album is crisp. If their last album went down like a Sprite, this album goes down like Sierra Mist. There's less distortion on the guitars than before, so the guitars sound naturally cleaner. But the tone is a little lacking in the huevos factor. While the tone on Rareform was drenched in distortion, it was balls-to-the-walls heavy. And even though ATB are still using 8 string guitars, the tone doesn't offer as much of a punch as it used to. I think this is due in part to the bass. It's always been clearly audible, but that slightly distorted sound doesn't really give the low end that makes bass so vital to a band's sound. But at least the drums don't sound completely fake this time around.

Lyrics — 8
I am so glad that After The Burial finally got a good vocalist. Yes, he sounds like he belongs in a hardcore band, but he's good at what he does. He's got a pretty good range (that screech in Bread Crumbs and White Stones before the breakdown is sick), and his clean singing also passes in my book. But there's so many weird effects going on over his clean vocals that it's hard to tell what's really going on. Good lyrics aren't really something that I ever looked for in After the Burial (or most other technical metalcore bands, for that matter). Although, I have to say, Your Troubles Will Cease And Fortune Will Smile Upon You sounds more like a fortune cookie than a song title. What I can tell you, though, is that the lyrics are overall easier to understand from this vocalist than the last. And after a few listens, I think the lyrics on this album are better than those of some of their peers (Within the Ruins, I'm looking at you and your new album).

Overall Impression — 7
Fans will inevitably have split opinions regarding this new release. After releasing something as techincally intensive as Rareform, fans set the bar high for In Dreams. But After The Burial weren't shooting for that mark, so some listeners took this album as a disappointment, calling it "Killswitch Engage worship". But people will always judge new albums by stacking it against old albums, especially if there's one significant album that catches everyone's attention. Any new Linkin Park CD will always be compared to Hybrid Theory, any new Between the Buried and Me CD will always be compared to Colors, and any new After The Burial CD will be compared to Rareform. In Dreams falls short of Rareform (see, look, I'm doing it too) for the sole fact that in Rareform there was so much more going on. Also, given the context, Rareform was refreshingly original. The whole metalcore/deathcore scene has been so stagnant in the past few years that it really takes something extra to set yourself apart from the crowd. Rareform did that by combining Meshuggah, metalcore, and steroids onto one album. Now days, every other metal band out there is doing the same thing, and In Dreams doesn't set itself apart the way Rareform did. That being said, though, it is still a solid album in my opinion. I enjoy the variety that it brings to the table. I respect the risk that After The Burial took by toning down, because it prevented them from doing exactly what Within The Ruins, their tech metalcore counterparts, did. WTR released a new album full of the exact same music, which was quite understimulating to say the least. ATB certainly didn't rehash their old music on this record. I recommend all metalcore fans to at least check it out. Listen to the tracks Bread Crumbs And White Stones, Sleeper, and Promises Kept to get a good feel of the album.

49 comments sorted by best / new / date

    TylerHerod
    EpiExplorer wrote: My friend Edoardo showed me this band yesterday and I thought the were just another djent band. Seems they still are, only with a boring vocalist who likes to breebree.. Also (which is really a misnomer considering how much metalcore has changed in the past decade). I'll give you last 2 decades. Nothings really changed since 2004...
    EpiExplorer wrote: My friend Edoardo showed me this band yesterday and I thought the were just another djent band. Seems they still are, only with a boring vocalist who likes to breebree.. Also (which is really a misnomer considering how much metalcore has changed in the past decade). I'll give you last 2 decades. Nothings really changed since 2004...
    So you just discovered this band yesterday and you already wrote them off? Too bad for you, your missing out on a great band. You can't honestly grasp how they sound in a single day, unless your determined to hate them or something.
    GreenSaosiner
    NEScore wrote: this album is so boring compared to rareform, vocalist writes simple boring lyrics. breakdowns are not at all original , riffs are pretty simple. i think forging a future self is 8000 times better then this in the songwriting categorey the only good thing about this album is it sounds really clear and well produced
    How often are breakdown's original? I mean really...
    \m/(-_-)\m/
    Sounds like a combination of Forging a Future Self + Rareform. Was disappointed at first. Grew on me now. Pretty awesome album. The worst track is probably To Carry You Away.
    symphyses
    Very solid album. I don't know what that one guy was talking about, I didn't hear one "bree" on the album either. This band's from my area, so it's great to see this album get good reviews.
    steve98614
    The album is alright, I think i have to get used to it...."To Carry You Away" has a nice solo in it if you dig sweeps n whatnot, overall i think rareform was better
    Tanner_re
    Probably my least favorite release by After The Burial but its still a good album...this album does not even lay a finger on Forging...thats just because forging destroys all though. Good review Jetfuel.
    MustangMan311
    This is a 5/10 album. The only good songs are My Frailty, which is really good, the second to last one, and the last one is alright. The clean singing is awesome, the production is pretty good, but the songwriting is really bland.
    Hells.Mascot
    Disturbdkornkid wrote: So, let me get this straight. If someone doesn't like a band and is simpley voicing their opinion, and that makes them an ignorant cretin? So who here doesn't like Bieber or recycyled Disney crap? Does that make you an ignorant cretin too?
    Disney make ****ing amazing songs, and I'm not even kidding about that. Please visit this URL:
    EpiExplorer, do you know what a decade is? And 7 Angels 7 Plagues didn't really push the genre if that's what you're saying.
    Horribad
    People are saying the breakdowns aren't original, but they have hardcore breakdowns, aswell as progressive/experimental breakdowns, which incidently is exactly the same as forging a future self (isolation theory, for instance, is nothing new, but excellent). They're no less orginal than on their first album, which was amazing. Still prefer their first to rareform and in dreams. Good reviews.
    Guitarkid123456
    Eh, we're all entitled to our opinions. Though I personally think the album was pretty fantastic, I also think Rareform was pretty awesome as well. These guys haven't disappointed me yet!
    TsarBomba
    Disturbdkornkid wrote: So, let me get this straight. If someone doesn't like a band and is simpley voicing their opinion, and that makes them an ignorant cretin? So who here doesn't like Bieber or recycyled Disney crap? Does that make you an ignorant cretin too?
    Do you expect consistency from AtB fans? Some people will like anything remotely heavy, and hate anything that doesn't have heavy guitars up front or a tough guy aesthetic. Everyone likes at least a few bands that probably suck if you were to be honest about it, but some quality control would be nice. As far as breakdowns being inherently unoriginal, this kind of thinking and the bands that perpetuate it just make things worse. Breakdowns existed long before hardcore, and a breakdown doesn't even need to be heavy, let alone consist of chugs. I love hardcore, and I love all kinds of metal, but when you mix the worst and most tired elements of both, you end up with a boring band. I don't mind getting off on unoriginal bands, but I can call a spade a spade. If you can't write an original breakdown, or something that's not an exact carbon copy, you have no business talking about the limitations of breakdowns. If you don't care at all about hearing an original breakdown, loop as many together as you can and just listen to that all day.
    ProgJazzMath
    This album should have been first and THEN rareform. I'm sorry but In Dreams lacked so much Rareform did and it's so so offbeat sometimes it's hard to listen to. I mean I know they love poly-rhythms and all, but geez they take it to limits it shouldn't be taken to. It was cool when they wrote "Pi" around the first however many numbers in it's order but it's too much now. Also, the vocals can barely keep up with the music it seems. There are so many cut and chopped vocal parts that have to make it impossible to perform live. Overall the album was decent, definitely doesn't suck, but has many flaws. There are some "ok" guitar solo's in there, but nothing like "Ometh" from Rareform. If you haven't purchased this album and are expecting another rareform, be warned it isn't the same. If you want an aggressive prog metal album then go for it. 7.5
    futurama_rules
    Well, yes it's simpler than most technical/progressive metal bands...ATB always has been though. I expected them to get better than this by now, they had a bunch of potential. But it's not like this sound is bad, it's just...more for the scene than the music. I still like some songs off of it, but not as many as Rareform.
    kylendm
    I just wanted to say I saw them live and I was completely blown away. Guitars were flawless, drums and bass were very active and cool but what blew me away was Anthony Notarmasos vocals. He ****ing nailed it. A good example is when he screams "I don't exist" in Bread Crumbs & White Stones; god it sounded so close to the album.I was especially pleased they played a ton of stuff off Rareform and ended with Aspiration. The best and my favorite song they played was Berzerker. If you weren't moving while the second groovy as shit breakdown was playing then you were being moved. It wasn't a huge show, maybe 100 people, but that was cool because he interacted with us a lot on the floor. They also gave away an RGA7 signed by them which was pretty cool. The only downside was they didn't play The Fractal Effect but I'll live.
    Omgpaulslike
    For some reason I was expecting another "Rareform" album, I guess that's my problem. First listen left me discouraged, after a few weeks I accepted it as "ATB" material. Nothing too memorable but i'll gladly listen to this album than any other typically "core" band.
    GarrettAbbey
    Disturbdkornkid wrote: So, let me get this straight. If someone doesn't like a band and is simpley voicing their opinion, and that makes them an ignorant cretin? So who here doesn't like Bieber or recycyled Disney crap? Does that make you an ignorant cretin too?
    What makes you ignorant (or seemingly ignorant) is the fact that you would call breakdowns unoriginal while having Disturbed and Korn in your name...
    GarrettAbbey
    This album is a giant disappointment. There are only a couple parts that even catch my attention. I feel like the new vocalist is trying to water these guys down and commercialize their sound. And they tried to remake Aspiration and failed. 6/10 at best
    Extrememetal
    I agree and disagree with this review. I thought this album was good but not as good as Rareform. There is different types of progressive techniques used in this album rather than the technical breakdowns at the end of every song in Rareform but these techniques aren't used as well as they should have been. Also Rareform is much more heavy than In Dreams because they are technical deathcore as opposed to progressive metalcore (thats what I label it as). You are right about it being more structured but they worked much better as not structured because with their music it makes it more surprising. I did like the thought put into this review and I like how you reviewed each song but I don't fully agree with some of the points you've made.
    BloodCellZ
    Rareform>In Dreams. Clean vocals suck, the lyrics suck, no interesting breakdowns. Only good songs = My Frailty and Bread Crumbs and Wet Dreams, or whatever its called.
    EpiExplorer
    elleild wrote: Well you guys shouldnt expect too much out of EpiExplorer he is an incurable hater.
    Not really, I just have wierd standards.
    kylendm
    I actually do like this album a lot. There is a lot of talent in there. They are rhythmically smart and have tons of great lead melodies. Really starting to like this more and more I hear it. I agree as stated above though, can't compare to Rareform because it's a different take on sound.
    ThatWouldBeJon
    GreenSaosiner wrote: NEScore wrote: this album is so boring compared to rareform, vocalist writes simple boring lyrics. breakdowns are not at all original, riffs are pretty simple. i think forging a future self is 8000 times better then this in the songwriting categorey the only good thing about this album is it sounds really clear and well produced How often are breakdown's original? I mean really...
    THIS +1 there is no such thing as an original open chug breakdown anymore, ever sequence every pattern every breakdown rhythm has been used. But that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy them =]
    Disturbdkornkid
    So, let me get this straight. If someone doesn't like a band and is simpley voicing their opinion, and that makes them an ignorant cretin? So who here doesn't like Bieber or recycyled Disney crap? Does that make you an ignorant cretin too?
    ProgJazzMath
    Demonikk wrote: Jetfuel pretty much hit the nail on the head. It's still a very good record in its own right, but if you were expecting another Rareform, it's quite a letdown
    I agree. It's not the same. Needless to say the album still kicks ass, but there aren't any tracks that stick out like Ometh on Rareform did.
    Demonikk
    Jetfuel pretty much hit the nail on the head. It's still a very good record in its own right, but if you were expecting another Rareform, it's quite a letdown
    NEScore
    this album is so boring compared to rareform, vocalist writes simple boring lyrics. breakdowns are not at all original, riffs are pretty simple. i think forging a future self is 8000 times better then this in the songwriting categorey the only good thing about this album is it sounds really clear and well produced
    kylendm
    TylerHerod wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: My friend Edoardo showed me this band yesterday and I thought the were just another djent band. Seems they still are, only with a boring vocalist who likes to breebree.. Also (which is really a misnomer considering how much metalcore has changed in the past decade). I'll give you last 2 decades. Nothings really changed since 2004...EpiExplorer wrote: My friend Edoardo showed me this band yesterday and I thought the were just another djent band. Seems they still are, only with a boring vocalist who likes to breebree.. Also (which is really a misnomer considering how much metalcore has changed in the past decade). I'll give you last 2 decades. Nothings really changed since 2004... So you just discovered this band yesterday and you already wrote them off? Too bad for you, your missing out on a great band. You can't honestly grasp how they sound in a single day, unless your determined to hate them or something.
    +1 I'd have to agree with this. This band took me a while to get into. Aspiration is really a great song in my opinion as well as The Fractal Effect. I haven't heard the new album but I did hear the promo. It doesn't seem like it's that bad.
    RiffYourFaceOff
    My favorite song was actually probably the most laid-back: "Promises Kept." I've always loved how they manage to make even some of their heaviest songs have a positive sound. It's a nice break from all the bands out there that go out of their way to sound angry. I like this album, but I love Rareform.
    Andragon
    Oh Jetfuel, you and your food and beverage similes. Solid review though
    elleild
    Well you guys shouldnt expect too much out of EpiExplorer he is an incurable hater.
    lankeysob
    So many scene kids complaining that there are clean vocals or not enough breakdowns go cry in a corner. None the less, a pretty solid album, not as good as their previous releases though. Favorite song has got to be Promises Kept, its different, catchy and I can definitely see a crowd singing along to it.
    LightxGrenade
    I've listened to the new album's songs 2 times through and I like it a lot more than Rareform from my initial feelings. ATB aren't ground breaking or anything, but they're really good at what they do. It's not a perfect album but good enough to keep me entertained for a while
    MT_Obsidian
    After The Burial has always stood out to me as pretty talented, so I think I'll give this one a listen. And +1 to whoever said/thinks that "Rareform" was a sweet album.
    Amuro Jay
    EpiExplorer wrote: My friend Edoardo showed me this band yesterday and I thought the were just another djent band. Seems they still are, only with a boring vocalist who likes to breebree.. Also (which is really a misnomer considering how much metalcore has changed in the past decade). I'll give you last 2 decades. Nothings really changed since 2004...
    First, there isn't a single "bree" on the album. Second, I still say decade because ten years ago bands like 7a7p were still around.
    Adam124
    EpiExplorer wrote: My friend Edoardo showed me this band yesterday and I thought the were just another djent band. Seems they still are, only with a boring vocalist who likes to breebree.. Also (which is really a misnomer considering how much metalcore has changed in the past decade). I'll give you last 2 decades. Nothings really changed since 2004...
    Yet you have wrote them off already? Your ignorance annoys me..
    Darkkon
    There's about 10 minutes (maximum) of this album that I can listen to without getting annoyed. I'll just stick with Rareform.
    huggies1989
    b]EpiExplorer[/b] wrote: elleild wrote: Well you guys shouldnt expect too much out of EpiExplorer he is an incurable hater. Not really, I just have wierd standards. [/quote] by wierd standards you mean if it contains a breakdown then the rest of the musics quality is then diminished . . . . cretin
    Guitarist_T
    Rareform DESTROYS this album. I mean that track "To carry you away" just sounds way too much like Bullet for my valentine. The only track on this album that REALLY hit me was track two. That riff going on with the drums is a proper Rareform kinda groove. Probably my favourite track on the album.
    ibanezguitars44
    i just bought this album and i thought it was great. i really like their melodic sound. they manage to have great melodies and grooves while keeping it heavy. ive listened to a lot fo the stuff from rareform and earlier, and it's all good too, but they took a different approach this time around. so no one should compare the two sounds against each other. just enjoy both flavors of ATB
    Roflpwn
    InanezGuitars44 wrote: i just bought this album and i thought it was great. i really like their melodic sound. they manage to have great melodies and grooves while keeping it heavy. ive listened to a lot fo the stuff from rareform and earlier, and it's all good too, but they took a different approach this time around. so no one should compare the two sounds against each other. just enjoy both flavors of ATB
    I agree, it really flows better than anything else they have done
    rob904
    huggies1989 wrote: b]EpiExplorer[/b] wrote: elleild wrote: Well you guys shouldnt expect too much out of EpiExplorer he is an incurable hater. Not really, I just have wierd standards.
    by wierd standards you mean if it contains a breakdown then the rest of the musics quality is then diminished . . . . cretin[/quote] hit the nail right on the head, music based around or containing a breakdown for more than 3 bars is of diminished quality, its the musical equivalent of banging a single chord for three minutes on a piano
    EpiExplorer
    Adam124 wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: My friend Edoardo showed me this band yesterday and I thought the were just another djent band. Seems they still are, only with a boring vocalist who likes to breebree.. Also (which is really a misnomer considering how much metalcore has changed in the past decade). I'll give you last 2 decades. Nothings really changed since 2004... Yet you have wrote them off already? Your ignorance annoys me..
    I gave it a chance and I didn't like it, I dont want it to 'grow on' me because then I'll hate it. I gave the whole album a thorough listen and it was the same as what all bands do after they release their best album: 'mature' and then simplify. Its your presumptions that I dont like, and your defense of a band that means nothing to me is as bad as a youtube commenter going 'OMG, Y U NO LIKE ATB, AZZHOLE'.
    EpiExplorer
    My friend Edoardo showed me this band yesterday and I thought the were just another djent band. Seems they still are, only with a boring vocalist who likes to breebree.. Also
    (which is really a misnomer considering how much metalcore has changed in the past decade).
    I'll give you last 2 decades. Nothings really changed since 2004...