Buried Inside - Spoils of Failure (Cover Artwork)

Buried Inside

Buried Inside: Spoils of FailureSpoils of Failure (2009)
Relapse Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5

Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

If you couldn't tell by my choices of album reviews lately, I don't listen to a whole lot of heavy music anymore. It's not that I've outgrown the style -- I still listen to and enjoy any punk or hardcore record I did two years ago -- but so few new bands warrant a listen anymore and so few new recor.
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If you couldn't tell by my choices of album reviews lately, I don't listen to a whole lot of heavy music anymore. It's not that I've outgrown the style -- I still listen to and enjoy any punk or hardcore record I did two years ago -- but so few new bands warrant a listen anymore and so few new records from the bands I did like pan out.

And then it happened.

I heard one chord -- just one chord, of "I," the first track on Buried Inside's Spoils of Failure, and it all came rushing back. The same tense, ominous feeling I always got from listening to Chronoclast, the same unsettled, nervous aura completely overwhelmed me. Before I could brace myself, Ottawa's angriest sons had thrown down the gamut.

You never know quite when Buried Inside is going to unleash a torrent of rage, just that they will. That inevitability came to fruition less than a minute into the album when Nick Shaw's guttural exclamations started to guide the sludgy instrumentation along. The drums are the only constant; a hard thump on the bass drum and rolls on the tom. The riffs peak and valley with a perfect mix of melody and power. As with Shaw's vocal entrance, however, things never stay routine for long.

Mammoth riffs cascade in and out as Shaw stretches to the bowels of his lungs, and it's only the beginning. Guitarists Andrew Tweedy and Emmanuel Sayer trade riffs as drummer Mike Godbout backdrops it all with punishment and precision. One song in and it's already Buried Inside at its best -- the ability to pull serenity out of a cataclysmic musical display. The louder, the more frantic things sound, the more in tune with each other the band members actually are.

"II" picks up where "I" let off and hits the ground running. Quick, chugging riffs give way to mesmerizing chord progressions and Shaw's relentless screams; the drums are the backbone of the assault as it slowly heightens. Shaw's quick bursts are punctuated by swirling, melodic progressions, and just when it sounds like the track is peaking, they find another gear. The speed of the riffs increases, the force of the drumming increases, and Shaw reaches even further down his throat to unleash an ungodly cadence that propels the song into the stratosphere. While that level of exertion may tire some bands out, it only seems to fuel this five-piece.

Clocking in at over 11 minutes, "III" is the longest song the band has recorded to date, and the most unpredictable, too. Spurts of primal rage punctuate long, spellbinding instrumental passages and it's never quite safe to assume the band is losing steam. After every lull, Shaw brings Buried Inside right back into the throes of unbelievable anger, a visceral rage compounded by every thump on the bass drum and every towering riff. What truly makes this band special, though, isn't just their crafting of anger and rage into a crushing and dynamic sound as fluid as it is relentless -- it's that the band can match that power with a cerebral approach not often seen in the heavier side of music.

Spoils isn't one unified, thematic effort like Chronoclast was, but the metaphorical presentation of the band's ideas is nothing if not impressive. "V" sees Buried Inside settle into a very tight groove while expounding on the idea that people as a whole are far too quick to believe what they've been told and follow a routine cast for them.

Regulations with the shelf life of milk and rye, and formal charges that of cut flowers / Argued into obsolescence, interests valorized, benefits conferred / The race to the bottom yields avenues of success, but the race to the bottom is not without redress / The hounds will be along soon, one last goodbye to the spoils of failure / One last goodbye to the stock rewards. Here they come."
Four long years in the making, Spoils of Failure may not supercede the brilliance of Chronoclast, but it further establishes Buried Inside as the thinking man's metal band. The band that questions the most with amps turned to 11. The band with the highest peaks and the lowest valleys. The band that makes every other group that makes heavy music question why they're even trying.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
abbas_muhammad (May 7, 2010)

Band is great. Album is a masterpiece. Really hope they do a full U.S. run at some point.

Laurier (March 27, 2009)

Saw them at the record release show in Ottawa score is for that.

This album didn't initially hit me as hard as Chronoclast but I think I like it a lot more now that it's had some growth time. V is absolutely epic.

Misanthropee (March 26, 2009)

I might take advantage of their sale and just buy the whole damned Relapse catalog. This label rules. End of story.

theproblemwithfire (March 25, 2009)

I've got another gripe about this release, concerning the artwork: While there's no problem with the concept of the layout, (minus the poorly drawn bear on the inside) it appears that whoever did the layout didn't add the type using illustrator. The end result? It looks blurry. Pretty unprofessional for a relapse release. I don't think it's too much to ask to have some decent artwork for the people who are buying the physical product.

SilentStorms (March 25, 2009)

Holy crap I've been waiting for this forever! I'm in Korea and should be getting this tomorrow along with Propagandhi and Cursive, but I think this will take the cake. And then it will explode. From my penis. I hope. I still kinda think that Suspect Symmetry was their most diverse album ... ok best album in terms of every track being amazing, but I've heard the 2 myspace tracks and they sound fucking fantastic. I'll post as soon as I've heard it 5 times (as anyone should wait that long to make a proper judgement). Score is for the last 2 albums.

Oh, and I paid 80 bucks for their first cd on ebay. Since I'm in Korea and it's in Canada, does anyone know if it's any good?

xote (March 25, 2009)

Do not care for this band but I have to say that Anchors you wrote an awesome review. The way you wrote about punk rock making you feel when you get excited about a new record was very cool to read.

theproblemwithfire (March 25, 2009)

I won't give this a rating yet since I've only listened to it twice but so far I'm not getting into it. Sounds too similar and not as dynamic or dark as chronoclast... i'll give it a few more spins though

elliot (March 24, 2009)

Buried Inside has always been one of my favorite hardcore bands. Completely underrated, better than just about everyone else.

So that's why it bums me out so hard that I can't get into this one as much. I couldn't even give it a 7. I agree that they've been great at building peaks and valleys in their songs, but I don't think they do that nearly as well on this one. The songs are more static, not many dynamics, and you hardly remember any standout riffs.

But there are definitely some huge, amazing moments on this album where the magic comes back and they just knock me out. So I dunno. I wish it was better.

But it's nice to see this at the top of the reviews. Good work, gentlemen.

danperrone (March 24, 2009)

not as good as chronoclast. chronoclast was a goddamn monster. this is just eight songs with one long buildup each.

mikexdude (March 24, 2009)

Good to see you writing again, great review.

kevinh (March 24, 2009)


inagreendase (March 24, 2009)

Diggin' it.

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