ALBUM REVIEW: A Burial At Sea – Close To Home


With all the technical and specialist instrumentalism that goes into the world of post-Rock, it is no wonder that the sub-genre has almost become synonymous with being a tad bit pretentious, with acts at times focusing on how skilled their members are than writing a good song.

It’s only been six years since A Burial At Sea formed, but quickly they have cemented in their earlier works that this has not been the case for them at all.

It has however been four years since their debut was presented to the world, and the duo have been hard at work introspectively collating their sophomore release Close To Home (Pelagic Records).

If the lockdown over the first half of those four years has done one thing, according to A Burial At Sea, it’s enabled them to explore music to create brand new soundscapes.

The band could have rushed in eager to show off their growing prowess straight away, however A Burial At Sea approach the opening track “páirc béal uisce” from a completely different angle. The opening song is a slow meditative slowburner inviting the listener to get lost within the sounds of the band, more classical instrumentation can be found while the more typical sounds such as the guitar are introduced a lot slowly and gradually into the mix, not taking the centre stage.

“páirc béal uisce” is more of a contemplative song slowly building into this rapture of a crescendo, all the sounds coming together into this frenzied haze rather than the cacophony you may have imagined, capturing the feeling of being in the centre of the storm – all of this swirling around, but just peace inside, an exemplary way for the duo to introduce the album.

Rather than their peers like Caspian and Russian Circles, which while fitting perfectly in post-Rock circles, usually fall into the more traditional song structure of rock adjacent bands, A Burial At Sea, have definitely sailed further ashore (pardon the pun) for other influences on Close To Home, fitting more comfortably now alongside acts like Sigur Ros.

Similarly to their previous album, the band set their sights on exploring more of their own cultural Gaelic heritage into their own music, a perfect example of this is in the song “Tor Head” stated by the band to be inspired by the Irish coastline, the underlying guitar rhythm acting as a backdrop to the rest of the piece. The choppy nature of the piece really brings out multiple layers to this instrumental track, while at the same time bringing on some more math-rock sounds into the bands catalogue of influences.

It is in the final three tracks that the album comes into its own, “everything you are not” and “DALL” are linked by a speech that truly brings together the journey that Close To Home has taken us on, Like the band’s name, the music really feels like being out at ocean, frenetic chaos at one moment followed by serenity the next. The effortlessness of the transitioning between the two sounds is noteworthy in of itself.

As the final notes flicker out in “DALL” the band creates an atmosphere of a late evening by the beach, the tide slowly ebbing away from the shore, complete tranquil bliss.

As mentioned earlier, bands similar to A Burial At Sea, have somewhat of an unfair stereotype of being pretentious, being wrapped up in their own guitar skills to focus on the bigger picture. A Burial At Sea is the furthest thing from this.

It is rare within the album for the guitar work or any instrument to take the main highlight. Instead, they really focus on creating these whole soundscapes, eliciting more of an atmosphere or a feeling, and the duo manage this with aplomb.

Close To Home is an album that any audiophile needs to have for their record player for those stressful days and to watch their stress drift away with the sounds that this band have managed to conjure. This music is built for grand halls for all to hear.

Buy The Album Here:
https://aburialatsea.bandcamp.com/album/close-to-home

9 / 10
CHARLIE HILL