Bury Your Dead Beauty and the Breakdown

Coming hot on the heels of the indisputable standard setters for Meshuggah mosh and no frills tough guy — the Acacia Strain and First Blood respectively — Bury Your Dead have officially pushed the tried and tested beatdown into the realm of self-parody. The amazing thing is how well it works. Utilising only choice electronic segues and extremely rare bursts of melody (yet thankfully no clean vocals), the group have dispensed with anything even resembling filler and now rely solely on groove-centric punishment to get their point across, and their sound is that much more airtight for it. Choosing to tie the material in thematically with fairy tales this time around, the admittedly gimmicky concept may be tacked on as an afterthought, but it’s certainly less obnoxious than naming your songs after Tom Cruise films (which the group attempted on 2004’s less than spectacular Cover Your Tracks). There is simply no real way to describe how much of a rollicking good time this record is without hearing it for yourself — any description implies either a derivative "snoozefest” or an overambitious project doomed to collapse under its own formidable weight. Rest assured, the almost too aptly named Beauty and the Breakdown is neither — nor is it simply another mosh record. A balance has been struck here that is difficult to pin down, but you probably won’t bang your head much harder than this until at least the year is out. (Victory)