With as much buzz that has built up around the forthcoming Between the Buried and Me and Rivers of Nihil albums – and deservedly so in both cases – Hated One Metal Reviews felt it necessary to highlight a new, fast-ascending quintet out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania whose debut LP on Rising Nemesis Records not only sounds like an uncanny amalgamation of the aforementioned superstars, but also whose August 13th release date seems to be the perfect primer for the August 20th release of Colors II and the September 24th release of The Work...
Ladies and germs, boys and ghouls, Hated One Metal Reviews is proud to present this feature interview with Jorel Hart, vocalist of Philly’s own Burial in the Sky!
Originally formed in 2013 as a two-piece between guitarist/multi-instrumentalist James Tomedi and the now departed multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Will Okronglis, Burial in the Sky has been consistently issuing EP’s and LP’s full of promising progressive death metal since their inception, but it was 2018’s guest appearance upon the band’s independently issued sophomore LP Creatio et Hominus that started the former Cognitive vocalist Hart on the path to becoming a permanent member of the expanding act.
“Joining the band actually occurred over a span of time,” recalls Hart. “I was attempting to turn myself into a studio vocalist when [Burial in the Sky] contacted me to record on Creatio et Hominus.” Stemming from more of an East Coast death and slam background, Hart was immediately blown away by the musicianship of the bandmates in his new guest project. “The music itself was something completely out of my [wheelhouse, and it was] an immediate attraction for me. After the album was finished, the guys asked me to play a handful of shows with them as a live fill-in [and it was] during this time that they invited me to join full-time, but I wasn’t [quite] ready for another band yet.”
However it didn’t take long for Hart to realize that he had an amazing opportunity laid out before him. “I [quickly] realized how much I loved being around these dudes and how insanely talented they are, so after a fantastic sit-down alone with James, I finally joined [officially]. In all honesty, I feel like a [novice around] these guys sometimes. They all switch off instruments and have all had a hand in writing the songs, whereas I just write words to yell. They are teachers and masterclass musicians, and I’m very fortunate that they want me around. I’ve never been in a band where I can stop at any point and just watch in awe. These guys are the real deal and continually blow me away.”
Rounded out magnificently by drummer/pianist Sam Stewart, bassist/saxophonist Zach Strouse (also known for his sax work with fellow Pennsylvanians Rivers of Nihil), and rhythm guitarist Brad Hettinger, what once began as a small, two-man side project has now evolved into a full-fledged quintet that will soon outdo itself with the August 13th release of The Consumed Self.
On paper, The Consumed Self is Burial in the Sky’s third LP, however, seeing as it is their first to be laid down as a five-piece unit and it is their first to receive label backing (from Germany’s mid-level Rising Nemesis Records), The Consumed Self represents far more than “just another release” to the band; it is a whole new era for the act itself.
The phenomenal cover art for The Consumed Self as imagined and executed by Justin Abraham (Equipoise, Inanimate Existence, etc.)
Recorded at AJ Viana Production, Hart and company gave their all to lay down this progressive death monster. “To be honest, it was brutal at times, but [it was also] the best recording experience I’ve had. We took our time, did things right, and nothing ever got passed as an ‘ok take’. [We all made sure we] put the work in.” And put the work in, they did! All told, by Hart’s recollection, over forty instruments were employed in the recording of The Consumed Self, and the sheer vastness of production shines through the entire fifty-six-minutes’ worth of ten mind-blowing tracks.
Not only is the effort Burial in the Sky’s most ambitious and lengthiest to date, Hart and his bandmates also believe it is their finest. “Everyone in the band unanimously agrees that The Consumed Self is our best work [yet], both [individually and collectively]. If there is a genre of music within the world of metal that you enjoy, this record has it.”
Brilliantly and succinctly described in sound by Hart as “Between the Floyd and Me”, Burial in the Sky’s incredible range of talent, influence, and sound is on full display upon The Consumed Self, and Hart and company are already virtually foaming at the mouth to get out on the road and play the tunes live. “We haven’t played any of these new songs out yet and I cannot wait! I can’t tell you how much I miss being on stage and on the road. There is a piece of me that remains there and is not found until returning to it. With that being said, we have a handful of shows already planned with more in the works, and we are looking to get on the right tour, too.” (A firm nudge nudge and wink wink from Hated One to all you promoters out there who are reading this, by the way!)
So again, just to remind all of you fellow BTBAM and Rivers of Nihil nuts out there that while now is indeed an incredibly exciting time as we wait for the impending new albums to drop from a couple of these favorite established acts of ours, don’t forget that the cycle always carries on and that exciting new acts such as Burial in the Sky will always continue to emerge to become your new favorite established acts... so don’t you dare sleep on The Consumed Self, for this is the next and the new and it is right here and right now!
To dig on the official video for "An Orphaned City" from The Consumed Self, just press play below and make sure to follow the links at the bottom of the page to further support Burial in the Sky if you're liking what you're hearing! \m/
Rating: 99 / 100 (A++)
Genre: Progressive/Technical Death
Don’t Skip: “On Wings of Providence” (3), “Amarousis Shroud” (4), “Mechanisms of Loneliness” (6), “Caught in the Azure Cradle” (9), “Anatomy of Us” (10)
FFO: Yakuza, Between the Buried and Me, Rivers of Nihil, Beyond Creation, Obscura, Fractal Universe, Artificial Brain, The Lylat Continuum
Burial in the Sky Recommends: Pink Floyd, Between the Buried and Me, Alustrium, Intervals, Aborted, Ahtme, Ophidian I, Gojira, Noctambulist, Artificial Brain