Latest updates:

We hope you enjoy your visit here. Please join or login if you have joined before.

MT @ Facebook

Not logged in

Users online

53 guests

Welcome to our newest member, willtravers

Burial - Relinquished Souls (reissue)

Relinquished Souls (reissue)
by Sean McGuirk at 19 April 2019, 3:07 PM

BURIAL’s “Relinquished Souls” is a piece of old school Death Metal history.  The album came out originally in 1993 on German label West Virginia Records in that fruitful period of the early nineties extreme metal scene.  Hailing from Netherlands, they had bands likeSINISTERASPHYX and PESTILENCE to look up to in their own country, but their eyes seemed to gravitate towards the scene happening in Tampa, Florida. Influenced by DEATHMORBID ANGELOBITUARY, they created a demo in 1991 called “Frigid Cold,” and their first full-length two years later, “Relinquished Souls,” which stands with the best of what that genre produced during these golden years of the early nineties.

You’d be excused if you hadn’t heard of BURIAL, I had not.  It’s a testament to the magic of this genre, that a relic like this can be unearthed and still kick you in the ass 26 years later. The first mode of comparison for me was DEATH.  There’s a sinister, surgical precision to the melodies, with plenty of rollicking descents into madness that seem to always resurface with a few breaths of clarity.  The chaos is maintained by some tightly wound guitar work from Peter Dees (the band’s modern-day drummer).  Dees also wrote the music and lyrics and is one of two remaining members from this lineup, along with bassist Erwin Van Dorsselaer, who plays no small role on this album.  The lyrical content is thoughtful, with moral questions abound, like on “Failure of Technology,” which reminds of a song on “Spiritual Healing.”  The songs feel human rather than demonic. The guitars are kept in the higher registers, with lots of complex riffing.  Stefan Verdoom’s gruff-but-enunciated vocals are often double-tracked to up the sinister factor like on “No Existence.”  Renzo Van Poecke’s drumming is powerful and in the pocket, but not showy.  There are minor hiccups here and there like on an ambitious drum intro to “Abhorrence Within” that remind you that once upon a time Death Metal had real humans behind the kit.  It’s not all chaos and fury like MORBID ANGEL, there are some deep, dark OBITUARY-style breakdowns, and “Untimely Demise” has one of the best, with a short Chuck Schuldiner-style scale repeated over some delicious double-kick patterns that punctuate the moment.

The reason this album stands up today, and why labels like Raw Skull Recordz and Refining Darkness are keen to re-release, is that the ethics of Death Metal haven’t changed much in the years since its release.  It is raw, often brutally melodic, with a crushing bottom-end and some stellar musicianship all around.  There’s really no need to remaster as this album was mixed and recorded to perfection and it’s why this has been a sought-after release.  The band themselves seemingly broke up shortly after it came out, only to come back in the mid-2000’s as a touring band with little actual studio recording since.

“Relinquished Souls” is a record that really needs no review, if you’re into bands like PESTILENCE and MASSACRE and haven’t heard this record, it is your new must-listen.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The Second Coming
2. Failure of Technology
3. Traumatized
4. No Existence
5. Abhorrence Within
6. Frigid Cold
7. Inner Hostility
8. Untimely Demise
9. Pitiful God
Erwin Van Dorsselaer - Bass
Renzo Van Poecke - Drums
Peter Dees - Guitar
Stefan Verdoom - Vocals, Guitar
Record Label: Redefining Darkness Records


You do not have permission to rate

Metal Temple © 2000-2014
Yiannis Mitsakos

Designed, Implemented and Hosted by PC Green