Old school brutal death metal! Burial Extraction makes retro cool in this phenomenal debut album of brutal death metal with a smorgasbord of thrashy riffs and melodic leads. The band is the brainchild of bassist and vocalist Brian Lyda. He explains that the idea of a death metal band was sown 30 years ago when he played in a death metal band during high school. Never letting go of the vision, Brian teamed up with producer and session instrumentalist Derek Corzine (Blood Thirsty, Crowned in Sorrow) to form Burial Extraction. Being a fan of Crowned in Sorrow,I was quite excited to see Derek contributing to this project.
Within the first seconds of “A Shadow of Things to Come” we clearly hear the musical cues from early Death Metal masters like Mortification: deep guttural vocals over thrash metal riffs and brutally pounding drums. The only breaks from the death metal onslaught are the brief solo bass passages in each song. Although quite brutal, there is a pervading optimism to the album.
The song-writing is strong keeping a great balance between changes to keep interest high and faithfulness to the brutality of old school death metal. Every song is perfectly orchestrated where not one instrument feels out of place. The drums do a great job of setting the mood with the use of blast beats, accenting riffs, and providing space for the bass to come through. The only negative is that the drums were a little low in the mix and wasn’t as hard-hitting. Although most songs are in the three minute range, they have an epic quality that wastes no time developing their own atmosphere.
Unlike much of the extreme metal scene that thrives on dissonance and atonality, the songs are tonal and make use of consonant harmonies which make the music quite beautiful. This juxtaposition of brutality and beauty may have something to do with the uplifting sound of the album. If not that, it may be the use of musically rising riffs throughout the album that sonically point to the lifting of the dead from the grave, the resurrection through Christ.
Which is where Burial Extraction gets its inspiration. The lyrics are scriptural and optimistic showing how Christ has provided our salvation and redemption. Many of the lyrics draw from Old Testament as a foretelling of Christ which is cool to have something spiritually to meditate on while moshing to death metal. The deep monster vocals growling, “Victory over death” and “Purified in Blood” provide some of that dualism of the truth and living in the fallen world. I appreciate Brian’s vocal style that makes it easy to hear the lyrics: it is deep, guttural and monstrous yet intelligible.
An unexpected surprise on this album were the few but brilliantly executed technical guitar solos. My favorite shows up on “Purified in Blood.” After the second chorus Brian growls, “Go” which sets off one of the best shredding episodes I have heard in a long while. The moment is epic!
“Exhumation” is an excellent closer. Deep chugging riffs open the song with lead guitars ringing over top. Deep death vocals proclaim, “A time is coming when those in the grave will hear the thunder of God’s voice that saves.” The rising lead guitars create a truly epic feel to the chorus. The guitar solo crescendos into a frenzy landing into a riffing break before launching the final grandiose chorus. The resolution shortly after this climax ends with the last lyrics, “…rise to life!”
“A Shadow of Things to Come” is an incredibly fun album. Old school death metal that picks you up and focuses you on what matters with incredible riffs, shredding guitars, pounding drums, solid bass work, and deep monstrous death vocals. The total runtime is less than thirty minutes, so it is a rather quick listen, but fits well with the style. Highly recommended for anyone who is even remotely interested in death metal.
Written by Sean Bailey
1 – Contorted Corpses
2 – Butchered Halves
3 – Slain Lamb
4 – Fearful Glory
5 – Purified in Blood
6 – Grave Rot
7 – Victory Over Death
8 – Exhumation
Burial Extraction is:
Brian Lyda – vocals and bass
Derek Corzine – guitars and drums
Release Date: April 28, 2023
Record Label: The Charon Collective
Video for ‘Victory Over Death’
Video for ‘Slain Lamb’