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Buried In VeronaBrett Anderson vocals | Richie Newman guitar | Mark Harris guitar | Brandon Martel bass | James Swanson drums
Buried In Verona have been through hell. Deceived by those they trusted most and staring oblivion in the face, the core of the band regrouped, recruited fresh blood and collectively refused to let the world get the better of them.
And from the wreckage come their best songs yet, fuelled as much by rage as they were by defiance. Vultures Above, Lions Below (UNFD, August 07) is the sound of a band who have decided that nothing less than revenge on the world that spat them out will do. It’s sometimes easy to forget their pedigree – Notorious and Faceless hit #20 and #15 on the ARIA chart in 2012 and 2014 respectively – but events of the past year conspired to push them to their limits.
Written, produced and recorded entirely by the band – Brett Anderson (vocals), Richie Newman (guitar), Mark Harris (guitar), Brandon Martel (bass) and James Swanson (drums) – it’s the most powerful, honest and subsequently exciting album to ever wear the Buried In Verona name.
But in order to move forward, they had to pay homage to the past. Only Brett and Richie are counted as alumni from past albums; the new guys were plunged into a situation where it was sink-or-swim time, both for them trying to prove themselves and for the band as a whole.
“Mark had a massive influence on this album,” explains Newman. “He had riffs and song ideas flowing out every day, and was doing such a good job working with us to preserve the old Buried In Verona sound to gel with the new direction we wanted to take. We just let him go because we were onto such a good thing!”
And even though the band have had to do a lot of growing up, the things that still make Buried In Verona who they are are still present and correct – ‘Separation”s titanic riff positively drips with bile; ‘Done For Good’ takes their anthemic sensibilities to new heights and there’s a blunt force to ‘Extraction’ that shows they’ve lost none of their power.
Nevertheless, threaded throughout the musical chaos is a newfound sense of perspective and loss that was compounded further by the brotherhood between the two longest-serving members of the band. “Brett wrote his lyrics based on everything that is and was going on his world,” continues Newman. “We’ve both been so up and down emotionally, so what I heard really hit me hard, because I know what he’s going through and hearing him sing his heart out on the album was an amazing experience to be a part of.
“I was in a really low point in my life struggling with depression, so everything I was writing lyrically and musically was sounding really depressing. Mark stepped in and helped me put a positive spin on a lot of my songs.”
That duality is present in the likes of ‘Can’t Be Unsaid’, which is a powerful ode to moving on despite a brutal past, and the coldly honest ‘Pathways’, which examines the impact of one too many hangovers and one too few apologies.
“This whole album is the album we have always wanted to write,” finishes Newman. “It’s the most honest representation of who we are as people – we’ve been through hell and back in a lot of aspects in our lives, and this is the end result.”