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Decent ode to the old - 70%

Cosmic Mystery, July 31st, 2020
Written based on this version: 2019, Digital, Transcending Obscurity Records (Bandcamp)

Burial Remains is an act comprised of members from Fleshcrawl and Grim Fate to name a few, and what they have gathered their resources and knowledge to unleash is a new monster within the underground death metal sewers. Released on Transcending Obscurity, Trinity of Deception casts a spell on the listener booting them back to the mid to late 90s era of death metal. This hits with a powerful blow, guitars go hard on the HM2 pedals, bass lines vibrate heavily beneath the shredding distortion, drumming goes from straight up old school death metal to punkish thrashing. With many bands claiming to pay homage to the 90s, only few have managed to catch my attention; and Burial Remains is definitely one.

Featuring 7 songs of pummeling, fist to the jaw, bare knuckle style ruggedness, Burial Remains with Trinity of Deception conjure fast to mid-tempo piles of headbanging licks. The playing styles of both Fleshcrawl and Grim Fate can be heard trampling through heavy lines of rhythm and gnawing growls. Burial Remains are definitely out for blood on this journey, many bands have tried to release something that bows to 90s and only few really do manage to accomplish this without sounding un-original. Burial Remains don’t just appear to devour the flesh of the late 90s era but they savor the moment by implanting dominating lead riffs that go straight for the jugular, and with the production being so thick and abrasive, they sound like a stampede.

Not forgetting the addition of guest vocalist Rob Hauber (Heads for the Dead and Revel in Flesh) who performed on “Burn With Me” adds yet another level of stone smashing heaviness. This is a decent offering of 90’s style death metal butchery, songs like “They Crawl” “March of the Undead” and “Burn With Me” pelt loads of steel from an ever spinning vortex of turmoil. Gotta love the riffing on “Burn With Me”, such killer licks that come storming from the alleyways of the old school adding a sway to the already condemningly heavy tone of Trinity of Deception. Hence said, it’s the best tune on the record that voyages like a roller-coaster through varying tempos and melodies. Such a great track that is followed up by yet another skull bashing power surge of guitar leads in the form of “Days of Dread” whilst “Tormentor” puts the finalizing pounds on the record with a candid thrashing display.

The only drawback is, I wish there were more guitar solos featured on Trinity of Deception, sort of what was given on “Burn With Me”. Had more of the record been crafted within that vein I think It would have reserved a spot in my top old school death metal love letters so far for 2019. The absence of adequate solos were a bit of a bummer especially after hearing the melodic tone on the opening track "Crucifixion of the Vanquished". However, Trinity of Deception is only 25 minutes and has enough to prevent musical stagnation.

For a first effort I’m both pleased and let-down (a slight bit). Hence, Burial Remains have the sound nailed, however had there been more killer solos in the vein of what was heard on “Burn With Me”, they could have easily put out a more concise and fluent old school death metal record. Good entry, let the next one be better.

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A solid debut with some nice flourishes - 75%

DecrepitThrashCrypt, June 8th, 2020

Trinity of Deception is a powerful, reliable opening salvo from this fresh Netherlands/Germany crew. It's built on a solid base of mid-pace chugging that recalls early Asphyx' faster material and definitely also draws on the Left Hand Path sound from Entombed too. This band do well in setting down a solid set of thumping grooves that are about one thing and one thing only, providing some good old OSDM jams with a European flavour.

The throaty delivery of the vocals is excellent, providing a healthy serving of grit and filth, while being perfectly audible and legible. This is good as the lyrics are pretty good, a nice combo of some aggro-political stuff with the standardised gore and anti-religious-hypocrisy stuff that never outstays it's welcome, or gets overly whacky or perverted. The vocal is definitely the most immediately presented element of the recording, with it way higher than the leads and rhythm sections.

The rhythm section goes for groove and headbangability over complexity and technicality which I feel fits really well with the vocal delivery. At times I wish the overall mix gave the guitars, especially the core riffs at the base of each song, a bit more depth and punch. However this isn't a dealbreaker. It's not that the guitars are weak, it's that the production favours the vocal, so it doesn't hurt the feel of the guitars, it just relegates them a bit. It certainly doesn't hurt the fabulous grooves some songs hit like opener Crucifixion of the Vanquished or later highlight Burn with Me. Also despite the 'vocals first' mix, Days of Dread hits some proper knuckle-dragging gorilla groove despite it.

Seriously memorable leads are minimal, which I feel hurts the record the most out of the things that are mild negatives. Although the record has a solid quality throughout, with little deviation from that quality, making it feel consistent and cohesive, the lack of songs that fully stick out does hurt it's replay value a bit. However, as this is a debut, I feel like the memorable moments where extra layering gets added with leads and atmospheric aspects really hint at how this is a great start for a band we're gonna hear even greater things from later. There are three really staggeringly fun tracks on this record that really show the band have an extra mile in them for the future, Crucifixion of the Vanquised, Burn with Me and Trinity of Deception are top-of-game numbers.

You can't fault this debut for how good a debut it is, or how impressive the already established sound and musicianship is. Granted the band are not 'genre virgins' with the line-up culled from several established acts, but there's plenty of 'reconfigurations of seasoned vets' bands that don't hit this hard or work this well out of the gate. I'd maybe like a future release to have a slightly more optimised balance of guitar sound, and I feel like the next record will definitely have more variety in terms of leads and atmospherics. However few bands make this solid a start in this genre, and I don't feel any DM head will in any way regret scooping this short, crunchy blast of well-versed OSDM worship up for their collection.

The old ways refuse to stay buried. - 82%

hells_unicorn, December 2nd, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, CD, Transcending Obscurity Records (Digipak, Limited edition)

As the 2010s draw to a close it seems that the ongoing old school death metal revival that has dominated much of the decade is far from slowing down. Though this revival of sorts could largely be attributed to the efforts of Bloodbath dating back to the turn of the millennium, it has mostly been younger bands like Morfin and older bands that made a comeback after years of inactivity like Sweden’s Entrails that have typified this youthful vigor for a style that was largely a staple of the previous generation. Among the latest entries to come about that arguably embodies both of these aforementioned 2010s successors is the Dutch outfit Burial Remains, being comprised primarily of younger affiliates of the scene but also fronted by veteran vocalist and current helmsman of the German stalwarts Fleshcrawl, culminating in a band that brings a combination of youthful exuberance and experience into the mix that promises to give the competition a run for its money, at least if their solid and succinct debut offering Trinity Of Deception is any indication.

The stylistic template presented here is heavily rooted in the Swedish tradition, largely hearkening back to the pre-death ‘n’ roll days of Entombed, with maybe some passing moments of the more brutal aesthetic of early Grave. Things generally move at a swift pace, yet with fairly frequent moments of slower grooving that indicates a slight affinity for the more doom-influenced side of the American scene represented in Obituary and Autopsy. For his part, vocalist Sven Gross proves to be a stabilizing force, largely sticking to a deep yet rhythmic barking sound that functions equally well during the more chaotic, tremolo riff-infused blasting segments and the slower trudging breakdowns that occur almost as frequently. The band’s sound doesn’t necessarily lend itself to a Gothenburg sound in even the primordial At The Gates sense, yet the interplay between the lead guitar and the rest of the arrangement has a bit more of a static, melodic tinge to it rather than a shred happy one in the old school sense, though the tones themselves are a bit more ambiguous and dissonant in character.

Despite being of a fairly varied character, the overall presentation is generally simple and each song tends to rely upon a predetermined structure that makes for an overall consistent listen from start to finish. A few of these morose anthems of despair and decay such as the mini-epic thrasher and opener “Crucifixion Of The Vanquished” and the slightly more blast-happy “Burn With Me” stand out a bit more from the rest largely by relying upon a signature recurring melodic lead and a few auspicious moments of cadence in a manner heavily reminiscent of classic songs off Entombed’s Left Hand Path, largely relying upon familiarity to ram the point home. Others such as “Tormentor” and “They Crawl” take things a bit faster and set themselves apart by sheer ferocity, while the slow moving “March Of The Undead” lays on the doom-steeped heaviness to set itself apart from the rest. However, there is still a general unity of structure and sound that ties all of these songs together, sort of like a singular soundtrack to a zombie apocalypse film with the same theme yet differing pacing depending upon the scene.

It’s a foregone conclusion that an album of this sort isn’t bringing anything new to the table in terms of stylistic evolution, which naturally leads to the inevitable question of should it have to? There is a very strong argument for a no answer in this regard, especially given that there is still a heavy demand for this variant of death metal given the continual expansion of bands producing it, arising either by mitosis from the old guard or by new adherents coming into the scene. There will naturally be the occasional cynic who simply asserts that death metal hasn’t done anything worthwhile since 1993, but this isn’t the sort of album that is geared towards slaves of nostalgia so much as it is towards those who see old school death metal as an ongoing tradition that is still very much alive. Burial Remains offer a competent addition to the growing ranks of bands that have been continuing the revival that Bloodbath helped to usher in about 2 decades ago, and all with a taste for the old Swedish sound need very much apply.

Originally written for Sonic Perspectives (