The debut EP from Buried Under Sky melts the line between melo and harsh: Darkest Corners.
Buried Under Sky is comprised of veteran Connecticut musicians who have been active in well-known bands for many years. This first EP of theirs was conceived during the pandemic, as was nearly all music comping out now, and the realizations brought on by this local/global event are apparent in the included songs. The band is Ian Kauffman (guitar, keys), Kevin Salvatore (guitar), Jay McGuire (bass), Charlie Sad Eyes (vocals), and Mark Castillo (drums).
The set begins earnestly with “Extinguishing The Stars,” a melodious exploration of dark ideas. The rumbling percussion and surgically sharp guitars share time and space with melodic vocals, acoustic guitars, and soft engineering. Occasionally, they are confronted by gruff and ragged singing. The gentled delivery of disconcerting ideas is a recurring theme on the album. You can hear it on “Darkest Corners” as well, although this second track is generally more overtly ominous than the first. Perhaps this is a symptom of contemporary society. Then again, maybe it is the new face of a resurging goth movement, as the two shares many similar characteristics.
Reflect on the title of the third song: “To Walk Upon Disintegration.” You could see the idea as a positive one – the ability to survive and walk along even after the end of something (or of everything). Contrariwise, it could also be seen as an ode to destruction. That is, walking over something and causing its disintegration. Given the merging of opposites this music achieves, listeners get to choose their preferred reality. Tell me that is not a characteristic of contemporary society.
The final two tracks are “Ghosts of May” and “We Eat Our Own.” The former is a complete divergence from the sonic template of the first three, taking a slow walk through the fields of ruin rather than pepping it up. The song is beautifully and eerily rendered, and it is my favorite song on the album. The closer brings the contrast back and produces the most effective example of the style, and perhaps the most gothic-sounding of the batch. It also offers the best guitar work on the EP.
The album is fascinating. It reminds me of many things from the past while simultaneously positioning itself as forward-looking. I expect to hear a lot more music like this in the coming couple of years. Recommended.
Darkest Corners is fully available on August 19th. I recommend Bandcamp for the gathering.
© Wayne Edwards