Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Buried Inside - Spoils of Failure (Relapse, 2009)

Relapse has released a solid crop of albums in 1Q09. Cerebral Metalhead will review one of them a day this week.

The last album by Buried Inside, Chronoclast (2005), was a meditation on how the nature of time is manipulated by human interests. Strong as the music on that album was, the follow-up Spoils of Failure would have been a better match for Chronoclast's high-minded concept. Songs move forward with the measured, discrete motion of clock hands. Guitars rub against static bass pedal points in circular patterns. Drummer Michael Godbout's rigid, martial snare and tom rolls tighten the tension screws. These lengthy songs (all but one eclipse the six-minute mark) tick-tock towards some Sisyphusian end, but each time the tension threatens to crest and recede, it just keeps on cresting. The post-hardcore surges are similar to that of Envy or Burst, but the relentless upward tack sets Buried Inside apart, and makes Spoils of Failure an even more difficult album to endure.

I applaud Buried Inside for addressing such unsexy metal topics as the function of language ("I") and the teleology of definitions ("IV"). There is disconnect, however, between the blood-red of the music here and the steel-grey of its screamed philosophical diatribes. Buried Inside are at their best when they convey their ideas poetically -- compare "Necessity is the plea for every extension/For every elaboration of the twin gospels of service provision and security restraint: the folded geographies that demarcate all worth" from "VIII" with another line from the same song: "Necessity will bring severed hands, forked-out eyes, and ripped-off limbs scattered along frontiers and abandoned in gutters as the dregs of desperation." Same idea, inscribed two very different ways. The former requires parsing while the latter sings fluidly. I prefer my lessons in embodied technology to be couched in ugly images, rendered uglier by the charred throats of hostile Canadians.

Find out what's buried inside the website of Buried Inside

Buy Spoils of Failure:
Amazon Relapse store

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