Album: Divinity Through Eradication
When it comes to remasters or bands re-recording old albums, it can be hit or miss. Sometimes re-recordings change the charm and character the old mixing had, whereas sometimes it’s necessary to understand the undying brutality that awaits if everything could be felt through the headphones. This is where Burial comes in. Re-recording the entirety of their 2009 album, “Divinity Through Eradication,” they took the bat and snapped it over their knees. Burial is nothing to mess with; 10 years later, this album still whoops ass, and the re-recording only strengthens its weakest links.
“God of Defilement” starts, but with a twist. The 2009 version of the song begins and slowly fades out, ethereal chimes and droning building tension for the listener. Then, like a sledgehammer to the chest, the real song begins. Every aspect of the music can be heard independently: the drums are blasting, the guitars roaring, the bass womping, and the vocals devastatingly low. Comparing to the original recording, this song is ten times heavier. With Brutal Death Metal, low-production value often trumps and is almost a staple of the genre. However, with beefed production that doesn’t sound too polished makes for dynamically heavier tracks, as is with “God of Defilement.”
The self-titled track, “Divinity Through Eradication,” exemplifies the most disgusting aspects of Burial. Drummer John Glassbrenner and vocalist Devin Doherty crank their abilities to the max in this song. Doherty boasts a new vocal technique, nearly harmonizing with himself by using his tongue. Glassbrenner goes twice as fast as he once did in the original recording; bassist Ryan Murphy gets to show off his bass tone with an intricate, small soloing.
These tropes follow into “Human Menagerie” – a title that instills fear into anyone. The track starts as any classic slamming song would: terrifyingly so. The guitars are soloed, playing a dissonant riff that makes one feel as though they are about to be slaughtered. The greatest part about this recording is that I don’t think the drums are triggered; say what you will about triggers, but Glassbrenner’s drumming is still some of the most impressive, well-timed drumming in brutal death that’s been witnessed.
“Decapitate” is my favorite off the album. It starts fast and heavy and is quickly brought to a slow once Doherty enters with his trifling vocals. This song incorporates more melodic aspects than previous tracks and adds in more unusual placements of triplets and things. The slam in this song is changed from previous ones, focusing more on the technical aspects; the guitar solo comes wailing in, screaming at the listener in Slayer-like fashion. Some of the first words one can understand on the album is heard: “decapitation.” A daunting thought that, if someone cannot make out previous words, one of the last things they hear is “decapitation.” It makes you want to look over your shoulder, if your head is still attached.
“Bred to Kill” is short, heavy, and utilizing everything the album has to offer. It shouldn’t be legal for Doherty to go this low. The new styles boasted by each member will follow them throughout their future releases; it gives anticipation for the future. “What will Burial do next,” is the question on everyone’s mind. The re-recording of this album is endlessly impressive. Every hit, crash, and bree can be heard and felt. The technique and talent of each member finalizing itself in “Bred to Kill,” and the album begins again.
FFO: Abominable Putridity, Pathology, Kraanium