[7 August 2006]
PopMatters Contributing Editor
For a sound as rapidly decaying as nu metal is, it’s such a big surprise to hear Boston’s Bury Your Dead performing it with such vigor and conviction as they do on Beauty and the Breakdown. A clever little concept album using fairy tale themes as song titles, the band hammers out some truly punishing music in the tradition of Korn and mid-‘90s Sepultura, and while they display no originality whatsoever, somehow, unlike their aging peers, they sell it well. Churning riffs and primitive drumming lead to crushing, one-note breakdowns, as vocalist Mat Bruso hollers in an effective hardcore bark. As is always the case with this form of metal, there’s little to differentiate each track, but there are exceptions, such as the incendiary “House of Straw”, which leans more toward the metalcore side (not unlike Shadows Fall), while “The Poison Apple” features some subtle synth, and the climactic “House of Bricks” injects some welcome melody into the music. With nice artwork by Dave Quiggle, it’s energetic, bruising, and in the end, fairly respectable.