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Buried Realm - Embodiment of the Divine

Buried Realm
Embodiment of the Divine
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 27 July 2020, 12:08 PM

BURIED REALM is a one man melodic death metal project from JOSH DUMMER.  Although he started the project just a few short years ago in 2017, he has been busy as “Embodiment Of The Divine,” is his second full length release within just three years. Although he is talented at everything he does, the guitar playing on this album is out of this world.  Not only is it technical and proficient but it is just so goddamn busy.  Seriously, Josh is a beast on the axe and just never stops.  A riff here, another over there, a cutting solo coming out of no where…the guy just has so many ideas and yet he makes them fit neatly into this melo death box. If you are a fan of the guitar and that’s what you listen to metal for then stop reading this review and buy this album now.  A riff lover’s wet dream but stuffed to the brim with melodies and harmonies to give even the most discerning listener pause.

Although the previous album “The Ichor Carcinoma,” was solid “The Embodiment Of The Divine,” is everything it was plus more.  Rather than tow the line or release a paint by numbers album, Josh truly upgraded and improved just about everything about his band…except the production and mixing. If I have any issues with the album, it lies in those elements.  The album just sounds too clean—much of the bite or punch of the album is gone because the low end isn’t as prevalent.  It was very hard for me to make out much of what the bass guitar was doing and the drums, while played expertly, sound a bit hollowed and buried too far back.

Production quibbles aside, there isn’t much on this album to disagree with.  All the tracks, are catchy, energetic, and full of love and care for the melodeath genre. The album opens with “The Burning Remnants,” a song that begins with mind boggling speedy riffs and drums. A short but sweet lead harmony pulls in before the riffs slow down slightly and open up the song.  The rhythm guitar is thick and crunchy and the spastic, unrelenting vocals play off them well.  Around the 1:55 mark, a blistering solo takes over but boosted by the rhythm guitar for a result that made my head spin and my teeth chatter.  The song somehow gets even better when the riffs turn catchy in the last half of the song  and slow down to let that sweet, sweet guitar solo shine through.

The next track “Overlord,” has a NWOBHM feel to it and a galloping cadence that wouldn’t sound out of place on an IRON MAIDEN album.  The melodies and the vocal patterns are in a race to see who is faster and it just makes the song all the better.  The ending has it turning into something more related to death metal, a strong finish and a great contrast for the more melodic beginning. “Scales Of Queen Dragon,” is quite possibly the most exciting melodic death metal song I’ve heard this year.  I loved the way the dizzying lead guitar quickly builds up the song’s momentum.   Josh is well versed in using the lead guitar to both form the songs and move them forward instead of just using them as a lazy stop gap to fill in the blanks.  This song is so damn catchy that it won’t leave your head for days, unless you just don’t like good things.

The title track, “Embodiment Of The Divine,” is a rager of a track due in no small part to the guest stars Peter Wichers (ex SOILWORK) and Benjamin Ellis (SCAR SYMMETRY).  Benjamin’s deep growls really fit the song’s chaotic nature and pair well with Josh’s own higher pitch death screams.  The guitar follow alongside the vocals for a double punch to the face. The final track, “The Wonder And Terror Of Fortune,” reminds me of a mixture of mid era SOILWORK and the first NIGHTRAG album in that it nails the balance between melody and aggression.  Some of the riffs, from the song’s mid point onward, have a bit of a thrash feel to it for a nice change of pace and plenty of head banging.  The alternating of clean and growled vocals afterwards hits the spot and bridges the song together while keeping interest levels high.

BURIED REALM’s “Embodiment Of The Divine,” completely destroys the fear of “sophomore slump” that many bands fall prey too.  It is also shows a very clear progression of ideas and playing so the project’s path seems very bright for future albums.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 6

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Burning Remnants
2. Overlord
3. Master Psychosis
4. Scales Of Queen Dragon
5. Silver Tongue
6. In The Shallow Light
7. Embodiment Of The Divine
8. Infinite Mutation
9. The Wonder And Terror Of Fortune
Lineup:
Josh Dummer – Everything
Record Label: Independent
     


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