In the world of Christian metal and hardcore, it is difficult to find a band under this category that also fits into the technical death metal subgenre. However, this is where The Burial
comes in. This band was established in 2005 from Champaign, Illinois, and released their debut EP "Age of Deceit" in 2009. This led to them signing to Strike First
Records, and in 2010, their first full-length "The Winepress" was released. Afterwards, the quartet moved to Facedown Records and then unleashed their sophomore effort "Lights and Perfections" in 2011. Two
years later would result in the band's newest release, "In the Taking of Flesh
," which would prove to be their most powerful and relentless release yet.
To start off, the musicianship is as stellar as ever. The aggressive vocals have a great, eased range between wicked high pitches and ferocious roars. On top of that, the clean singing, while used incredibly sparingly, such as in the introduction to "Itching Ears," is not only performed well, but it somehow adds more darkness to the music. Alongside the vocal work, the guitars are especially stellar, playing powerfully sinister riffs and melodies throughout without any noodling, and this all adds up for yet another praiseworthy element from the instrumentation. The drums are also excellent, loaded with technicality and solidity, presenting potent bridges and blasts while remaining a solid framework for the music. All things considered, "In the Taking of Flesh
" does more than succeeds in displaying the musicians' talents.
Accompanying the grand musicianship is some very well-executed sound production. It was done by Josh Schroeder, who also worked with bands including A Plea For Purging
under the same field. Just like with his other productions, the mixing in this album is very explosive and violent, yet allows resonance and atmosphere for the listener to become captivated by. Along with that, there are a few electronic moments that make certain parts of songs much more catchy, two examples being in the introduction of "Erchomai" and the rapid-fire breakdown two-thirds into "En-Hakkore." When it comes down to this album's sound, the production is very good.
Unlike in the previous effort "Lights and Perfections," "In the Taking of Flesh
" steps away from the progressive death metal sound to a much darker and faster realm of technical death metal. This formula is carried out very well, with how vigorous and unwavering it is. There is barely a moment where the album shows any mercy with its technical metal sledgehammering, and this does prove to be both a strength and a weakness for it. On one hand, it does lead to great, energetic tunes, but on the other hand, the album could use a few more quiet moments to add more build-up and tension. However, this neutrality aside, there is no doubt that The Burial
is at the top of its game. Everything is structured and paced well, and the speed behind the music makes it more enticing. On top of that, there are so many parts that grip and urge the listener to put the tracks on repeat, such as in the breakdown from "En-Hakkore" described earlier. Greatly built and gripping, the metal here is some of the most powerful that 2013 has witnessed to unveiling of.
As a band signed to Facedown Records, one can expect to hear the music screaming and singing Christian-based lyrics, and that's exactly what The Burial
delivers. Sadly, the formula is quite typical in term of this theme, aiming for the message of religious empowerment and preaching. Although this isn't necessarily a bad concept, it has been brought out by many other bands many times before, such as this band's labelmates. However, there are a few lines that spark some intrigue, an example being the first lyric in "Itching Ears:" 'What profit is it for a man to gain the world and lose his soul?' Overall, the lyrics aren't bad, as they do match the dark mood of the music itself, but they are lyrics written by other Christian bands before.
As for the artwork, illustrator Dave Quiggle once again showcases his great talents in the album's cover. He has done work for most of the bands under Facedown Records, including renowned acts such as For Today
and War Of Ages
, and he has done it yet again with one of his most mordant covers yet. It depicts a cloaked figure that appears to be pulling its heart out from it's mouth, covered by the shadowing of the image. In fact, the picture is quite obscure. This actually makes the picture more intense, but it also makes it a little more shocking when the viewer actually sees what is on the cover. On top of that, it portrays the dark nature of the band's technical metal music in visual form very well. With the great music already making this album worthwhile, the artwork here serves as the icing on the cake.
Considering that "In the Taking of Flesh
" followed up from a very promising discography, this album did not even come close to being a disappointment. While it is a bit of a different direction compared to the preceding releases, being their most rapturous release yet, it's undeniable that this group is still going strong. There's the awe-inspiring musicianship, there's the great production work, and there's the very well-organized and well-carried-out technical metal. In spite of any minor flaws, "In the Taking of Flesh
" proves to be a strong release recommended for any fans of fast, brutal, and technical death metal. The Burial
is definitely a band that deserves to be noticed more.
Originally posted on: http://metaljerky.blogspot.com/