Sound — 7
You will definitely be saying "I've heard all of this before" while listening to this record, but more most tracks, it won't necessarily be a bad thing. "The Union Of Crowns" is Bury Tomorrow's second release since 2009's "Portraits". The albums starts out "Redeemer" that uses a melodic lead guitar riff, with a chugging rhythm. This song appropriately sets the tone for the rest of the record. You will many cliches in this album, but the guitar work of Mehdi Vismara and Jason Cameron show that they are great musicians and their technical harmonies and melodic guitar styles are the highlights for a handful of the songs on the album. Vismara's lead guitars can at times be quite impressive. The song "Lionheart", which gives a punk-rock pace to it, showcases his skill as well as the song "A Curse"; a beautiful ballad, that delivers a much needed change of pace and almost appropriately closes out the record. But aside from the guitars, the drums are nothing special. I didn't even notice the drums have the time because they were always boring and nothing that Adam Jackson ever caught my ears and made me go "wow". Bury Tomorrow also uses a lot of riffs and melodic guitar work that we've all heard before. Breakdowns are also quite frequent on this album, which should come as no surprise, and while they are good, they are also quite typical and seemingly recycled. But they do bring something interesting to the table, and that is their obvious 80's metal/rock influences that are incredibly during it's soft points and solos, such as in the stand-out track "1603" that also uses a piano intro as well as a piano outro for one of the album's slower tracks. While I found myself enjoying "The Union Of Crowns" while listening to it, they definitely haven't broken any ground and kind of found some songs to be very mediocre but also some songs to be very enjoyable. Generally, the majority of the songs have the same feel to them and can be hard to decipher which song is which when trying to find that one song that you loved.
Lyrics — 7
While the entire album has titles that revolve around medieval times, the lyrics themselves don't really seem to center around those topics. But the clean vocals of Jason Cameron show something different, but not new, to the genre. He avoids the mezzo-soprano voices most metalcore bands use these days and uses vocals that give off an 80's metal vibe that greatly accompanies the guitars. Set aside from that, he doesn't really have the greatest pipes I've ever heard. Although they're not terrible, they're very mediocre. Also, the screaming styles of Dani Winter-Bates is, at times, very similar to bands such as Parkway Drive and August Burns Red. His vocals can be very strong at times, but also very weak at other times.
Overall Impression — 7
Overall, I found myself enjoying this record, although very few songs could stick to me. Mostly every song sounded generally the same, as you should kind of expect. My favorite tracks would be "Lionheart", "Abdication Of Power" (for their upbeat tempo and great guitar work), "Kingdom" (for it's shredding and classic metal-metalcore fusion), "1603", and my favorite "A Curse", that displays Vismara's best work so far and also wraps the album up with something beautiful. Bury Tomorrow may not be the most original band in the metalcore scene, but they definitely deserve to be bigger than they are now. If they try and set themselves apart, especially with the guitar skills of Mehdi Vismara and the clean vocals of Jason Cameron, I believe that they can climb out of the cluster of generic metalcore bands if they put the tweaks in the right places.