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Embludgeonment - Barn Burner Award winner

Barn Burner
by Katharine Hassett at 17 March 2019, 11:42 PM

EMBLUDGEONMENT is a brutal death metal band formed in 2009 that hails from New Jersey, with the outset of fusing together brutal death, grindcore, thrash and hardcore, of which they have done exceedingly well. Being associated with the often oversaturated genre of slam metal, it can be difficult creating something original, but the four piece blends the aforementioned genres quite well, creating an incendiary hall of savagery. The quartet is made up of veterans of the metal scene such as Lee Cozens (PYREXIA), Mark Green (AURORA BOREALIS) and Lee Cozens (WAKING THE CADAVER). Another impressive aspect is the legendary John Zig crafting the artwork. Influences cited are CRYPTOPSY, SUFFOCATION, NAPALM DEATH, MISERY INDEX, and TERRORIZER, all of which can be heard across their career.

EMBLUDGEONMENT’s debut is a 28 minute banger that has a bit of a PYREXIA feel to it: blast beats, grooves, throaty screams reminiscent of John Gallagher (DYING FETUS) and even hints of New York hardcore on some of the slams. It features just enough melody and solos to separate it from many other slam bands in the scene. Likely using their connection with AURORA BOREALIS, the album was recorded, mixed and mastered by Ron Vento at his studio Nightsky Recording Studio in Waldorf, Maryland, which is where the explosive follow-up was also recorded at. While not completely ground breaking, “Infinite Regress” is a strong entrance that paves the way for everything to come.

Barn Burner” opens like and incendiary grenade, not wasting a second to get to the brutal torment with blasts and tremolo picking with intermittent grooves. In many ways, “Transfixed Impalement” is a bit of a mix of DYING FETUS and SUFFOCATION, plenty of grindy passages with abrupt time changes and filthy breakdowns. It is a completely violent track that followed with a track of equal temperament.

Neanderthal” opens up with a stutter step of a riff on guitar and plows straight into high screams followed by purely savage hardcore groove – mid-screams to match the feel perfectly. The track has much of a MISERY INDEX feel, overall. “Corpse Shed” starts with a disgustingly dissonant groove that eventually evolves into pure speed of blasts and tremolo picked riffage, sprinkling on a few truly dirty breakdowns. A lot of the vocals on this album call to mind the ever popular vocalist of CATTLE DECAPITATION, Travis Ryan.

Gruesome Mortification” is a prime example of why it’s sometimes a good thing the vocals in brutal death metal are inaudible. The instruments sticking to the same formula, the near four minute track features phrases such as: “Chopping up these people has left me giddy with excitement, yet I am fearful and guilty feeling of this goes straight to my penis,” and: “Decapitation is my climax, it’s like a favorite sex position.” If they were going for the disjointed, minimalist thinking of a psychopath, the grammar captured it perfectly but the content itself is pure cringeworthy. This reviewer is aware that this kind of overtly absurd violence is standard for the genre, but it comes off as comedic in many cases.

Suffice it to say, the album ends on a high note with “In Consternation,” fleshing out chaotic, layered vocals with more completely headbangable grooves that are sure to open up a truly vicious mosh pit. The track has a dash of tech death sprinkled in there, and even some breakneck speed solos, keeping in line with the diversity of the bands sophomore album. Overall, “Barn Burner” is a major step up from the quartets previous outing and any fan of brutal/slam death metal should check out this devastating fire-raiser of an album immediately.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Transfixed Impalement
2. Vociferation
3. Neanderthal
4. Abysmal Plot
5. Corpse Shed
6. Witch Cunt
7. Gruesome Mortification
8. Cervical Fracture
9. In Consternation
Mark Green - Drums
Lee Cozens - Lead Guitars
Ken England - Vocals
John Hartman - Guitars
Record Label: Comatose Music


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