Burial Invocation Accelerate Death Metal’s Evolution With Abiogenesis
The most exciting death metal album you’ll hear all year.
When was the last time a death metal album made you feel excited? I don’t just mean an announcement of an album from the hottest new act or even long-time legends rising from quiescence, I mean listening to the actual record. If you’re anything like me, these moments have gradually become few and far between. Not through a decline of interest in metal, or increased appreciation towards other genres, but more through familiarity, frequency, and the tolerance it instills (for lack of a better word). Don’t get me wrong, I still find plenty of albums very enjoyable, you only have to go back to my last review to see some unabashed gushing over Tomb Mold‘s sporesome follow-up, but it’s increasingly rare that among the perpetual pour of promos that something new will consistently maintain engagement over its duration. Hell, even the majority of albums I’m hotly anticipating don’t match the pre-release enthusiasm when put to the test. Enjoyment? Yes. Entertainment? Yes. Excitement? Not nearly often enough.
So when news arose that the dormant Turkish band Burial Invocation were reanimated and set to drop their first material in 8 years, my interest was definitely piqued but not in a giddy “OMGiCANTW84DISAOTY2k18” way. To be honest, even though their 2010 EP (their only stand-alone release to this point) Rituals Of The Grotesque was one of my very first purchases on Bandcamp, some 500 albums later I could hardly remember how it sounded. Nevertheless, I was very interested in hearing how the band’s debut full-length would shape up. And after we were treated to an exceptionally early sample almost a year ago courtesy of the 2017 Dark Descent Sampler/Compilation, in the form of the record’s penultimate track ‘Phantasmogoric Transcendence’, things were looking pretty damn promising.
Killer, right? Well, it doesn’t end there. There’s an entire album of molten metallic magma where that came from. Abiogenesis is the sound of a band throwing everything at you. Every moment exudes energy. This is a band playing out of their skin. Every thudding palm-muted passage is exploded open by a writhing serpentine shred riff, each snaking scintillation subsequently squashed by the next smashing section. Every track is constantly being propelled forwards, progressing through all kinds of tumultuous terrain, retracing its steps only when necessary. Going for something this ambitious can often result in utter failure; or if you do it well enough, you’ll be given the old “has some amazing moments” treatment. Burial Invocation have gone all-out here, and it fucking paid off big-time.
Virtually every element of their sound has been intensified to the extreme when compared to Rituals Of The Grotesque. While that EP may have hinted at some of the chops the band had, there wasn’t exactly a clear indication that they were capable of going this hard. Sure, I was aware that the band had technical proficiency (by way of the associated act Diabolizer) and a strong death metal foundation (see – drums for Engulfed) but I think it’s undeniable now that with this record Burial Invocation has surpassed both of those projects.
Previously the band seemed to have a much more tangible sense of connection with the Finnish death/doom sound, however the only such vestige that remains from Ritual Of The Grotesque in that regard is the Krypts-ian creep towards the end of the title track. What you have in its place is an amplification of the profane riffing fury à la Incantation to an almost Ignivomous-level of intensity. However, this is balanced by some ballsy attempts at incorporating bluesy bending solos (see ‘Visions Of The Hereafter’) and some deftly placed clean parts for dynamics. There’s even a cleverly placed clean finale; intricate, haunting, and including a surprise string section which would do Luc Lemay proud. Did I mention tapping? There’s tonnes of it. And it fucking rules. I don’t know who ever decided it was passé, a technique to be used with some kind of chaste restraint, but Burial Invocation flaunt their fret fuckery proudly, and rightly so. There is perhaps no greater example of this than on the album’s incredible title track. Undoubtedly the #1 song I’ve heard all year.
There are moments on Abiogenesis that are bar-raising career-defining brilliance. There are others that fall into the category of exemplary death metal. Does Abiogenesis reinvent death metal? No. Of course not. What it does do is pour all the elements that make the genre great into a giant crucible, smelt that shit down and tip that liquid fire straight into your gaping gullet.
4.77 / 5 Molten Primordial Soup Bowls ov Hell
Pick up Burial Invocation’s Abiogenesis from Dark Descent Records ready for its 6th of July release.