Shane & Ryan Flynn
The Mysterious Success of After The Burial
In nearly every case throughout the history of metal, artists have had to execute carefully thought out marketing strategies and invest heavily in music video production and imagery in order to gain any sliver of notoriety or success, however there is always the odd exception. This exception is a bit more odd than most though. Minneapolis, Minnesota's, After The Burial has beaten the odds to become a very successful extreme metal band despite not really even attempting to do so. Forming in 2006, After The Burial innovated a new style of mixing together a heavy Meshuggah influence with heavier elements of core music. This style would go on to be known as djent and inspire dozens upon dozens of bands. We have several theories as to why the band has been able to achieve this unlikely success so let's get to a few of them.
An important attribute of After The Burial is that they're truly a bands band, meaning they're a group that many of their peers admire their music. Sometimes being a bands band can be a bad thing because it often goes hand in hand with a lack of larger appeal for the band, this is not the case however for After The Burial. In fact, many core fans heard their favorite bands praising After The Burial, thus giving them immediate legitimacy in the eyes of many. Having an original and unique style always worked greatly to their advantage. They were practically the only band you could find playing their style in the mid 2000's and it made them a must listen for that very reason.
We can't go without mentioning several of the things that make After The Burial an enigma. The band has never been fond of making music videos featuring themselves, which is usually a very important aspect of gaining popularity. Secondly, the band is extremely private, they are not a band who really puts their personal lives and backgrounds out there for everyone. Often things like this can negatively effect a band but with this group it somehow played into their favor, giving them an aurora of mystery.Even with several vocalist changes in their early years, the band was able to build a solid foundation and a cult following of sorts.
Astonishingly the band was even able to recover from the devastatingly tragic loss of guitarist Justin Lowe and return with their biggest song to date "Lost in the Static", which is now universally viewed as a classic. The track was able to garner 10 million views on YouTube on the non music video version, which is utterly shocking. Perhaps the most important trait possessed by the group though is they have gotten their recognition almost entirely based on their pure musical talent. The band has an amazing knack for writing incredible riff after incredible riff. It is rare to find an After The Burial song devoid of a riff that will get stuck in your head, it is truly a special and impressive ability.
In conclusion, it's hard to put a finger on the success of After The Burial. They've never really been one for marketing themselves or for giving many interviews. The bands approach has been overall very pure and blue collar. Through constant touring, solid record after solid record, and musical talent, they have paved a path and achieve far higher success than seemingly possibly for a band of their style. The band never fails to innovate and bring something new to the table. It is hard to see a time where After The Burial becomes irrelevant. They are special, they don't need to act like rock stars or promote themselves on social media, they just march forward and deserve the utmost respect from everyone in the scene for remaining true and keeping their mysterious image intact.