It has been two years since Britain’s Bury Tomorrow released the successful Portraits, which, oddly enough, showcased a band who was more than content looking in the mirror. Bury Tomorrow is a band that presents very little that can be qualified as novel, but the confidence that the band exuded on its debut album won quite a few fans over. After listening to the band’s sophomore album, one has to wonder if the band should actually take a good, hard look at the mirror. The Union of Crowns offers quite a bit for fans of melodic metalcore. The guitar work can almost qualify for technical when it’s not stuck on breakdown mode; the heaven and hell vocals are delivered with conviction and aplomb, and Jason King’s melodies are as catchy and well placed as ever. The problem is that the band needs to focus on the winning elements of its sound more and limit the genre pitfalls. The album is nearly an hour long, and while it is not a King-sized issue after five tracks, the abundance of single-note breakdowns becomes too overbearing after fourteen tracks of brutality. Fans of breakdowns should not have an issue with this, but there comes a point where they cheapen the enjoyment of this album. The other main detractor is harsh vocalist Daniel Bates’ vocals lack the range to be enjoyable over an hour of vocal viciousness. While it may sound like The Union of Crowns is a step back from Portraits, the fact is the band has tightened its musical ship and refined what it wants to do as a band. The major issue with the album is that the band can clearly do more with its talent. The album had a chance to be so much more than it is, as the melodies are tighter, the music is more interesting, but the overall result is a sound weighed down by the limits of the genre. Thankfully, despite the criticisms, this album has a King-sized amount of fun-factor that keeps it afloat. – by Nicholas Senior
>> Classification: Melodic Metalcore
>> Recommended Tracks: “The Maiden”, “Abdication of Power”, and “1603”
>> In Conclusion: Too much of a good thing is not quite a great thing, as the band’s formula begins to grow tiring by the time the album is over; however, for fans of melodic metalcore, there are not too many better examples of this formula.