Boundaries

Uncovering slivers of light in the darkest of corners, Boundaries find life within decay. They artfully balance bone-crushing heaviness and magnetic melodies, sharpening a striking and stark signature style. Thus far, the Connecticut quintet—Matthew McDougal [vocals], Cory Emond [guitar], Tim “Cheese” Sullivan [drummer, vocals], Nathan Calcagno [bass, vocals], and Cody DelVecchio [guitar]—have gathered over 10 million streams and earned acclaim from Brooklyn Vegan, No Echo, Distorted Sound, and many more. However, they dive deeper than ever on their second full-length offering, Burying Brightness.

“I use the term Burying Brightness to explain a spiral where a person falls apart,” says Matthew. “Brightness is illuminating and radiant. So, it explains losing the good parts of yourself when something bad is happening. It speaks to internally burying the bright things in your life as they get more out of hand. Those were the things you were good at or made you proud of yourself. Now, they fall by the wayside, and you might not find them again. This is what the album explores.”

The group initially emerged with the Hartford County Misery EP back in 2017. Two years later, they unleashed the My Body In Bloom EP. Meanwhile, 2020’s full-length debut, Your Receding Warmth, represented a creative and critical high watermark. Brooklyn Vegan proclaimed, “It also positions Boundaries as fresh new faces of the metalcore revival that birthed Code Orange, Knocked Loose, Vein, and a quickly-growing number of other great bands.” Bringing Burying Brightness to life, the band wrote the bulk of the material in the studio, reteaming with producer Randy Leboeuf [Orthodox, The Acacia Strain, Kublai Khan] at Graphic Nature Audio. Expanding the sonic palette, they integrated vocals from Tim and Nathan.

“We utilized their voices for the first time,” Matthew goes on. “There’s definitely a new dynamic. We focused on writing some choruses. We made it a little prettier and calmer, changing up the listening experience. We wanted to use all of the tools we have at our disposal on this record. We didn’t leave anything out.”

“Our goal is to write exactly the kinds of songs we want to with no barriers,” Cory adds. “I feel like we did that. We’ve always wanted to have songs with singing, but we were never able to capture it until now. We also have some of the heaviest songs we’ve ever written. It has both extremes.”

Speaking of, Boundaries introduce the album with the single “Heaven’s Broken Heart.” Right out of the gate, it kicks into high gear with a gnashing groove before the guttural riff slams into a harmonic screech. It tempers a raw growl with a pensive and powerful melody, “Is this the consequence of heaven’s broken heart?”

“It’s about the suffocating feeling of a downward descent,” the frontman continues. “This person is spiraling and losing control. All of sudden, you’re in the middle of it. What happens? Do you lose yourself? Do you lose the people around you? How does this affect your life?”

A hypnotic ebb-and-flow breaks on a haunting spoken word passage during “Realize and Rebuild” as Matthew screams, “I have so much to give when there’s no one left.”

“Most of the record is about one person I sadly watched lose himself,” he admits. “On ‘Realize and Rebuild’, I’m coming to terms with regretting how our relationship was and how to now move forward. It’s very easy to be like, ‘If only I knew what I know now, it could’ve been better’. The song is about internally addressing the fact ‘wasted time is just wasted time’. I could sit around and keep thinking about it, but I found solidarity on my own. I now understand the situation he was in, and I didn’t get it before. I was too young and too naive, addiction is a nightmare and it took him from me. It’s too late to do anything for that relationship. Looking back I realize when he was calling at three in the morning to talk about nothing, it was his way to look for comfort, of reaching out. I can keep it in mind going forward while trying to not lose and let down more loved ones.”

On “Burying Brightness,” he assures, “I’ll never forget you,” over a steamrolling barrage. “Being abandoned isn’t a reason to miss your funeral,” Matthew reveals.

Then, there’s “The Tower.” This ten-minute epic twists and turns through emotions and textures as it delivers heart-wrenching and gut-punching response.

“It’s a reference to the Tower of Babel,” he goes on. “In the Bible, the Babylonians built a tower to Heaven. They wanted to get it so tall they could meet God. God’s response was to destroy it and make all of human civilization speak different languages, so they couldn’t work together anymore. Their efforts were punished before anything else. Rather than help this person in my life, their family’s response was to ignore and punish. They wanted to reprimand him to deal with the consequences of his actions versus loving or understanding him. The Tower is a fantasy I have about reclaiming all of the love and attention people in my life have given to God, and giving it back to the people that are here. The people in their lives who need love and attention, just like this man in my life did. Who knows how many people would still be here, in my life and others.”

In the end, Boundaries will elicit a reaction through this balance.

“All that’s important to me is you have some sort of experience with the record,” Matthew leaves off. “There’s no right or wrong way to listen to it. I’m completely satisfied if you listen to it lifting at the gym or in a dark room with candles—as long as you get something.”

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