Technical death metal in its purest form stands tall as one of those genres that hardly ever ceases to amaze or get drab, giving rise to some of the most talented and musically versed artists of the underground music scene...this band here is no different in that regard. Burial in the Sky is a US tech death act based in Pennsylvania that's been active for about half a decade or so now. With their initial debut full length being released in 2016, this independent band comprised of three individuals is working hard to get their name out there and surpass the boundaries of their respective style.
Burial in the Sky's latest sophomore release titled Creatio et Hominus (translated from Latin to something to the effect of 'creation of man') is anything but your standard death metal effort. It's a 36 minute full length made up of seven sprawlingly heavy and melodic tracks telling the story of the cosmos and how it all came to be. Think of it as a mix of classic The Contortionist with other proggy, techy elements akin to Rivers of Nihil and such as well as some jazzy elements mixed in. It also offers some intrumental variety, with different strings, piano and even a saxophone being audible. The album is available digitally and physically on both CD & vinyl.
Firstly, Creatio et Hominus is an intruiging as well as incredibly ambitious offering to say the very least. The band throws in a lot of influences from various styles...and the thing is, a lot of it sticks. The prog-induced song structures combined with the tech death atmosphere, cosmic themes and freeform undertones all works well from start to finish. Production quality on this one is top notch, which is perfect for making out every note and beat throughout. Creatio et Hominus also features a guest guitar solo from Brody Uttley of Rivers of Nihil prominence.
Introduction to the album, which consists of some instrumenal serenading and possibly some choir-like background aura, gives way to a jam packed and reasonably paced composition. Vocals on this release are mostly low growls reminiscient of oldschool deathcore, mixed in with riffs that often reminded me of bands like Beyond Creation. The flowing bass line underneath the eclectic guitar shredding serves as a formidable framework for everything else that's going on. Throw in some solid percussion patterns, ecstatic guitar solo action, and numerous instrumental dowtime sections and you've got yourself the formula for the success that is Burial in the Sky's new release.
For me personally, the high points of Creatio et Hominus were the comforting instrumental outros to both 'Tesla' and 'Nautilus' Cage', the proggy structure, jazzy tones and bass lines of 'The Pivotal Flame', and last but not least, the solo guest spot from Uttley on the self-titled song. A few of the album's breakdowns are also worth mentioning.
While I don't really have much of anything negative to say about this album, I'd like to suggest a few things briefly. First and foremost, the jazzy instrumental sections work well here; but, I think they should be balanced out more in future releases, so as not to overdo them. Also, I hoped for a bit more vocal variety, though I'm content with what was on display for Creatio et Hominus. This album could've been a bit longer...as it was really a joy to listen to, as well.
In all, Creatio et Hominus by Burial in the Sky serves as a shining example of what it means to create music of this calibre. The band is clearly not afraid to experiment or be avant-garde in their approach to technical death metal, consequently transcending the boundaries of their respective genre in addition to my initial expectations. The album is sprawling, filled with time changes, offers quite a bit of variety, contains themes and vibes ranging from brutal to outright meditational at some points, and it's pretty much all one would ever desire out of the genre.
Fave Tracks: 'Tesla', 'The Pivotal Flame'
For Fans Of: prog, metal with jazz influences, tech death, Rivers of Nihil and the like
**This album is available now here!**
Full Album Stream courtesy of the band:
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-Review by: Dave Raffy
Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
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