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Mark Riddick is easily considered one of the veterans in death metal, not only with the death and horror-inspired artworks that he has contributed to so many bands over the years, but also in all the bands that he has been involved in, especially the brilliant Fetid Zombie. Unburied is yet another band that he is in, with Murder 101 being the band’s sophomore release and with excellent releases from Fetid Zombie, I had rather high expectations for this release, promising to be a old school release with no holds barred.
The murderous intent is rather clear as the album opens with an ominous atmosphere on Trapped in a Delusion, but unfortunately as the album begins proper things are rather disappointing. Sure, the riffs that are on the album are heavy as fuck, and old school as hell as well, with a rather groovy feel incorporated into the music, but for some reason pretty quickly the entire album starts to become a drag, and all the songs on the album start to sound rather similar to each other. This especially so with the mid-pace that the band tends to go at for the entire album, and the repetitive riffs that are used on most of the tracks. For instance, right from the opener Trapped in a Delusion the entire song simply revolves around that one riff, played over and over again, and one finds himself drifting away very quickly. And the entire album pretty much makes use of such similar methods.
To the band’s credit though, the instrumentation especially Brian Forman’s drumming is one of the few redeemable points of the album, providing some fireworks to the otherwise rather boring experience, like on songs like Stalked, Fucked and Buried, which is perhaps one of the better tracks on the album which stood out from the rest of the tracks, sounding like a mix between Cannibal Corpse performed in the Swedish fashion of bands like Grave or Bloodbath. The vocals unfortunately fall flat as well, and while the growls are nothing particularly special, the pseudo-shrieks on songs like I’m Going to Fuckin’ Kill You sound out of place. The ever-present bass, while often a good thing, sound like a bug buzzing around the entire time, and gets pretty irritating after some time as well.
Honestly, I have nothing but the utmost respect for personalities in extreme metal like Mark Riddick. Unfortunately, Unburied‘s Murder 101 sounds like a rather uninspired record despite a few moments of goodness here and there, sounding as though the band were simply going through the motion, releasing a death metal record for the sake of it.