Sunday, July 21, 2013

Burialkult - A Call From Beyond the Grave [2013]

One of the major factors in inspiring Burialkult's musical inclination might be the sudden emergence of their salient fellow countrymen Antediluvian or Adversarial who channel the squamous and impious depths of black and death metal in the utmost nostalgic manner, though that's not the infer that Burialkult are strictly a byproduct of the aforementioned bands' success; on the contrary, their sound is quite different, despite originating from the same family tree, because if you could take Antediluvian as soupy bowl of grime and subterranean tastes than Burialkult would be the equivalent of an incendiary chili being served with raw beetroot and flesh. Burialkult is a fresh signing of the prolific label Blood Harvest which generally harbors interest for old school death metal bands, and thus surprised me with this out-of-league release. Needless to say, it doesn't matter one bit. The only thing that truly matters here is how fucking bloodied and raw these angry Canadians are, completely drooling over the cadaverous finesse of first wave black metal a la Bathory, Celtic Frost and Venom, with a healthy dose of material that would likely be extracted from some of the genre's late-coming pundits who wished to expand not upon the majesty of the music but rather upon its raw and destructive components.

Don't get confused, though; Burialkult are not even remotely enlarging black metal's characteristics, but are forming a belligerent, devilish set of artillery pieces from which to bombard the unaccustomed listener. Even for people who'd consider themselves ''veterans'' of the sound, Burialkult is absurdly primal and carnal, but thanks to modern production values, its seemingly degraded quality is bantered with punch and juice, which is the case with most bands in this field these days, but thankfully Burialkult doesn't smother us continually with broad, perforating riffing and keep things slightly interested by randomly shifting the sound quality. I was quite flummoxed to to hear the level of variation and hostility that drum patterns offered, because the fills are especially great when they're sewn onto lengthier chord progressions, and aside from occasional, frivolous fills, you'll have a verbose platter of pummeling blast beats. The palette of riffing offered is nothing spectacular as you may have guessed, but Burialkult does have two rather distinct weapons of choice: A more crowded set of second wave black metal tremolos that erupt with raw precision, and more accessible, groove-laden speed/heavy motifs that sound like Lemmy and his gang bursting through filthy streets with hellish motorbikes. I did also sense a subtle craving for thrash even though it was much scarcer than some other influences, but it helped spike up a few less motivated sequences.

There is variation to a certain degree, but don't expect this to be a record laced and embellished with veneers and intriguing crevices that keep popping up. Thankfully, Burialkult make up for some of their deficiencies in the riff department in the ambiance department. To be sure, the Canadians are adamant on keeping the eerie mingle of menace and craze at a discomfiting and dissonant level, and there isn't a single track that's not pervaded by this atmospheric formula, and moreover, they have some pretty decent ambient pieces like the lurching, ominous organ soundtrack ''Hossana In The Depths'' or the less effective ''Provocations'', and while I wasn't completely sold on the wicked atmosphere they conjured, I still had a kick out of it. The vocals are rabid and utterly caustic, inclined towards both the guttural and raspy facets of traditional black metal vocals. I'm sure that Burialkult are conscious of unoriginal qualities of their music, but the emergent focus here is the sheer bruising power this record has, because listening to this is like caulking your headphones with thorns and then proceeding to insert it into your hear. There are some ''bedroom'' black metal bands who can surpass this in terms of raw emotion and decrepit production values, but if anyone wishes to crack open a hear and go motorbiking around the city dump, ''A Call From Beyond the Grave'' is the rule to go by.

Desecrate The Temple
By Satan Possessed
Throne of Disease

Rating: 75%

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