Kristan Dawson dishes out a technical tour-de-force in blistering playthrough of Bury Tomorrow’s “aggressive” new track, Heretic

Kristan Dawson
(Image credit: Future)

Bury Tomorrow are just over two weeks away from sharing The Seventh Sun, the latest addition to the British metalcore outfit’s repertoire and their first since 2020’s Cannibal – and, from what’s been teased, one that introduces “a new sound” for the sextet.

Despite this new direction, heavy electric guitar action will be the beating heart of the album, and the peak of The Seventh Sun’s aggressive musicality is said to be Heretic – Bury Tomorrow’s first guest vocal-featuring track since 2016, for which they’ve teamed up with Loz Taylor of While She Sleeps.

Given the rarity of vocal features on Bury Tomorrow tracks, Taylor’s cameo will no doubt get the lion’s share of attention for casual listeners, but for guitar fans, it will once again be Kristan Dawson and his ever-reliant fretboard action – shown here in an exclusive Guitar World playthrough – for what Heretic will be remembered.

Armed with his beloved Schecter C-1 SLS tuned to open G# – paired with the tones of his Neural DSP Quad Cortex – Dawson delivers a metalcore guitar workshop of the highest order, first flexing some razor-sharp riffage and super-tight rhythms that give the spotlight to Taylor.

These single-string exchanges serve as an effective warm-up for the rest of Heretic’s guitar lines, which Dawson dispatches with assured proficiency. After branching out into a slew of string-skipping riffs, Dawson then turns his attention to the higher register, reeling through pin-point two-hand tapping sequences and then a show-stopping guitar solo.

“I exclusively use Schecter guitars and my C-1 SLS is forever my favorite guitar,” Dawson told us. “The Fishman Fluence pickups give me the perfect balance of heat and clarity without too much fizz for lead sections.” 

As for his wider rig, the guitarist adds, “I use Neural Quad Cortex for tones and MIDI control all changes for switching patches and effects. I like my rig as simple and convenient as possible.

Heretic is a firm favorite of mine in regards to playability. It showcases my style of riff writing perfectly, combining string skipping, dance-inspired tap leads and a heavy metal solo.”

Of the track, lead singer Dani Winter-Bates commented, “[Heretic] is right up there with the most aggressive and visceral tracks on the album, with an inherently dark feel, both lyrically and musically, which allowed us to delve into some of the more brutal elements of The Seventh Sun.”

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.