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Class 6(66)

Burial: Relinquished souls

16/01/12  ||  Habakuk

Introduction

Burial is not only a pretty dark (and pretty cool) dubstep artist, it was/is also a death metal band from Holland’s glory days, the early nineties. That’s a fucken trademarked death metal name, so it’s definitely them who take precedence. And as with most one-word-name death metal bands, rightfully so, because this shit rips. They were sort of a one hit wonder though (what’s the death metal equivalent?), as this 1993 release is the only full-length they ever put out, and it’s probably nigh impossible to find anywhere. Which is a shame. Yet, despair not: the whole album is available for free download at their official site and if you don’t get it, that’s your loss exclusively.

Songwriting

It’s not a surprise that the only band shirt on the members’ photo shows the “From beyond” cover. These guys were definitely huge on Massacre. However, there is a small sense of advancement I’m getting. Still this is blast-less, thrash-rooted up-tempo death metal, but there are some little intricacies that go a tiny step beyond what Massacre did, like a few small rhythmic treats or the more frequent riff changes that make the whole thing less catchy, but a little more rewarding if you’ve absolutely heard Massacre from front to back. I’m not saying these guys are bringing anything super special to the table. This gains its classic spot simply because of its sheer quality within a working formula, even if that had been set out by other, more well-known bands. You want an example? “Frigid cold” is my choice cut. 8

Production

A mids- to treble-focused job with a discernible bottom-end. Very subdued and thus has to be cranked up considerably in comparison to most other productions. Once you do that (and aren’t we used to this with old school death metal releases of Morrisound caliber anyway), you get a rather thick but separable mix: Sawing guitars and snarly bass, balanced drums and prominent vocals that however fit well into the overall soundscape. So yeah – apart from the usual “it’s too quiet” complaint (it really is), I can’t file any. 7

Guitars

Again: Lots of Massacre worship. Just like with the Florida grands, the leads are good ole whammy-bar driven noise fests that lie in stark contrast to the sharp, precise, chromatic riffery on display. I dig the thrash shredding meets palm-muted chugging approach a lot, and old school death metal like this just works with the darker, more vicious touch their guitars (and vocals) lend to a working thrash/speed metal formula. 8

Vocals

Imagine a gargling, hollow death metal growl somewhere between the raspiness of early Chuck Schuldiner and tone of Barney Greenway. In other words, a pretty damn cool performance. Also, the dude knows when to simply shut up for a while and let the instruments work their magic. Respect has been earned. 8

Bass

There isn’t even anyone credited, so don’t expect wonders from the bass guitar here. It basically lays a somewhat audible, snarly foundation in the bottom mids, playing the guitar tracks. That’s pretty much it. 6

Drums

Thrashy beats, some neat cymbal accentuations and a tendency of the double kicks to get a bit unsteady during faster parts absolutely support the Massacre vibe. For some reason, the kick problem doesn’t annoy me as much as on “From beyond” though, probably due to the muddier production. Apparently the dude recording the drums was only a session member, but there is definitely full force behind his performance. 7

Lyrics

Nowhere nothing nada. The song titles suggest good standard fare, and nothing from the comprehensible vocals struck me as odd or out there, either. n/a

Cover art

Distorted, blurry things that resemble human faces, and other stuff. Quite frankly, it looks like shit. The contrast to the album title is so bad they probably decided to give at least the logo a separate background…and chose red. Wow. 2

Logo

Cool logo, in spite of red background. 7

Booklet

This is a practically unobtainable release. First you won’t find it, then you won’t be able to afford it. For our purposes here, that means: no booklet. n/a

Overall and ending rant

So, in closing, what do we have here: A free, high quality, old school, Massacre-worshiping, thrashy death metal release without weakness. ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? Anybody still rocking out to Pestilence, Asphyx, early Death and so forth should not pass.

8

  • Information
  • Released: 1993
  • Label: West Virginia Records
  • Website: www.burial.tk
  • Band
  • Sebastian Tieleman: vocals
  • Stefan Verdoom: guitars, vocals
  • Werner Versijp: guitars
  • Renzo van Poecke: drums
  • Tracklist
  • 01. The second coming
  • 02. Failure of technology
  • 03. Traumatized
  • 04. No existence
  • 05. Abhorrence within
  • 06. Frigid cold
  • 07. Inner hostility
  • 08. Untimely demise
  • 09. Pitiful god