Artist: Bury the Rod
Album: The Era of Ignorance – EP
We live in a time where very few people have the excuse to maintain an ignorant state of mind—after all, the adage of the 2000’s goes something like “in the age of modern technology, ignorance is a choice,” right? Yet here we are—nearing the end of 2015 and ignorance is as prevalent as the air we breathe. Bigotry, racism, smug superiority complexes and selfishness reign supreme, leaving precious little room for propriety and civility. Enter Bury the Rod—a bone-smashing and brutal deathcore act out of Austin, Texas—who are driven by the desperate state of modern society in their quest to deliver relentless deathcore that melds malicious heaviness with marvelous technicality to completely enrapture the listener. Even at a brief three-track run-time, The Era of Ignorance is a mile-per-minute collection of skin-peeling shred and soul-smothering aggression that will whet the appetite of any extreme music aficionado—at least until the band’s next release.
The first few seconds of The Era of Ignorance might confuse you—a quiet sample and haunting atmosphere rather than the gunshot kickoff you might have been expecting. Before long, however, “Visceral Desecration” rips into the listener’s head like a saw blade spinning at ten thousand revolutions per minute, proving the listener’s opening suspicions false: Bury the Rod are here to bring intensity and aggression, and they do it to a point. Percussionist Dean Fountain dominates with devious patterns and devilishly quick kick drum hits that rip and roar in bizarre time signatures to twist the listener’s ear cleanly off their head. From the first stuttering breakdown in “Visceral Desecration” to the prolapse-inducing opening slam-tinted groove of “Subterfuge,” Fountain reigns with furious feet and fleet hands, giving drummer and drum fanatic’s something extraordinary to focus on. “Subterfuge” is especially noteworthy—as Fountain’s feet are flying a mile-per-minute, booming, beefy bass echoes the brain-scrambling riffs from Brandon Diering and Nik Kefalas with perfect tone and remarkable audibility. Where The bass predominantly plays in subtle syncope with Fountain, “Subterfuge” sees it running with the big dogs—Diering and Kefalas—whose incredible riffs and grooves highlight moments of Bury the Rod’s debut EP that are not defined by dissonant brutality. In fact, Diering and Kefalas write tediously tremolo picked riffs and contagious grooves that sound like an ominous mixture of Salt the Wound and Oceano, combining some traditional deathcore elements in their contemporary melting pot of metallic and hardcore influences.
Bury the Rod’s instrumental influences give them a quick, hard-hitting style of deathcore with a technical flare—meaning their vocalist must catch up for his efforts to be truly appreciable. Fortunately, frontman CJ Duffield has absolutely no problem matching Bury the Rod’s speed or variety. Duffield ranges from sharp, screeching highs to guttural, meaty low bellows while hitting gloomy, gruff mid-range yells in between with remarkable ease. The conclusion to “Subterfuge” sees his lows at an all time high, while the introduction to “Morte Aeterna” is the EP’s greatest example of his expertise with patterning and intonation, as he dives from quickly spat syllables to sinister, spread-out lows as the track turns from a lightning like barrage of blast beats to a filthy series of disastrous breakdowns. Duffield is remarkably talented in every area of vocal expertise, so even while his room to show off on The Era of Ignorance is limited by the EP’s brief runtime, the listener still gets a full feel for Duffield’s talent.
The only true limiting factor on The Era of Ignorance’s brilliance is the fact that it is a mere three tracks (barely ten minutes) long. By the time the listener truly gets immersed in Bury the Rod’s incredibly instrumentation and impeccable vocals, they’re already back at track 1, leaving much more material to be desired. Ultimately, this sees these Texan Titans as victims of their own success—they do what they do so well that the listener simply demands more than what their debut release has to offer. Ultimately, however, this is nothing that can’t be cured by ravenous abuse of the band’s bold and memorable three-track offering—a humble, horrifyingly heavy offering in an age dominated by deceptive, arrogant and ignorant bands attempting to gimmick their way into listener’s ears.
For Fans Of: Oceano, Salt the Wound, Misericordiam, Whitechapel
By: Connor Welsh