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Burial Ritual
Exterminating The Masses
March 2012
Released: 2012, Self Released
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Erich

Back in 2009 I reviewed the debut of a promising band called Burial Ritual. They were playing retro U.S. death metal with confidence and pummeling groove. TOWER OF SILENCE made an impression on me, as death metal was, and still is, unbelievably fragmented, with so many bands abandoning the classic US death metal sound and embracing the Gothenburg style. Now the Milwaukee band has returned with some lineup changes and a new album, EXTERMINATING THE MASSES.

The new album continues in the old-school style of the debut, with nine hard hitting and compact tracks. There is a considerable tightening of the loose ends, and an abandonment of the splatter horror and guts lyrics of the previous album (and most death metal bands lyrical inspirations). Throat man Chris Brooks’s vocals are articulate and discernible as he employs the vintage cookie monster style, but also sounds similar to Chuck Billy’s efforts on DEMONIC. Album opener “Accosting The Mindless” gleefully sets the tone of the album, a brutal and pummeling grinder moving mid-paced and snarling with righteous rage. Brooks also employs subtle shifts between the traditional death metal growl and a few passages of black metal croaks, adding variety that works well with the song. The title track is probably the most experimental, with an almost progressive opening riff to the song and fast picked chords in place of the chug and grind. The song later kicks in with a meaty riff, and the guitar tone on this track and the whole album is perfection, well-suited to the many moshes and breakdowns. There is a little more tremolo picking and speed inserted on this album than the debut, which is a nice complement to the slower and weightier sections.

The production adds to the many fine qualities of the album, accurately capturing the heaviness and articulation in the speedy parts while giving each instrument a balanced representation. Musically, each member performs admirably, and my hats off to them for helping to try and return the genre to the roots of death metal, while adding their own modern personality to the style. This is not incredibly complex or filled with the harmonized riffs of Gothenburg, but it is focused and in your face leaving little doubt that you have been hit by a two ton heavy thing. One could argue that this is not a reinvention of death metal, but it is a welcome return to a style that became saturated and abandoned. Burial Ritual deserves greater recognition for the quality of their efforts. The time is ripe to introduce a new legion of fans to the style that got the ball rolling, the Tampa, Florida death metal sound. Recommended for fans of Suffocation, Obituary and old-school death metal.
Track Listing

1. Accosting the Mindless

2. Radioactive Rain

3. Exterminating the Masses

4. Lubricated With Vomit

5. Subhuman Species

6. Chaos Unfold

7. Beasts Of War

8. 1913

9. Full Spectrum Dominance


Chris Brooks- Lead Vocal
Angry Jay- Guitar
Oso- Bass
Metal Fuckin' Pete- Drums

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