Ten years after forming, six years after splitting up, and four years after reforming Turkish death metal band Burial Invocation have achieved their first full-length album in the daunting, diabolical configuration of ‘Abiogenesis’. Originally conceived in 2008 with members of Nettlethrone and old school brutal death legends Cenotaph, Burial Invocation‘s debut EP ‘Rituals of the Grotesque’ in 2010 would be one of the earliest from the Dark Descent Records imprint. Their debut is still hailed as one of the best mutations combining the intensity of early Incantation with the abrupt and methodical movements of 90’s Bolt Thrower while on the edge of ‘Mental Funeral’ era Autopsy. From there an even more death/doom-tainted 2011 split with Anatomia promised heavier things to come, but soon lead to the very quiet demise of the project.
Upon reformation it appears the line-up re-crystallized with Cihan Akün (Hideous Divinity, Cenotaph) as the main protagonist. Although one guitarist would drop out, most of the core line-up from ‘Rituals of the Grotesque’ reappears on ‘Abiogenesis’. For all intensive purposes it is Akün‘s vision that pulls from classic death metal across the globe for a distinct, but still very ‘old school’ experience. Burial Invocation‘s debut full-length is an epic, a four song 42 minute record that reigns in the ferocity of Gorguts ‘Erosion of Sanity’, the jagged semi-progressive tilt of Death‘s ‘Human’ and fuses them with a corrupted strain of Bolt Thrower-meets-Dead Congregation riffing into modern, mercilessly extensive death metal structures. The experience reads like a mildly progressive atmospheric death metal record; Yet ‘Abiogenesis’ thrives so heartily within it’s serpentine dips in and out of different classic stylistic influences that it might be easy to overlook it’s inherent ‘classically brutal’ ethos.
‘Abiogenesis’ isn’t a surprise so much as it is a revelation. A title suggesting spontaneous generation is fitting in the sense that it’s style is almost entirely sourced out of nowhere, and fully overgrown. The massive change in the years since ‘Rituals of the Grotesque’, an easy EP to compartmentalize and plug next to similar bands, is remarkable. I would consider it as the ultimate reaction to folks who suggest that death metal cannot create atmosphere and provide memorable, stylized guitar riffs on par with pure death metal oeuvre. It helps that the acrid, poison-spewing claws of Finnish death metal, old and new, have left deep marks upon Burial Invocation from their inception but they’ve harnessed those trailing riffs with a distinctly Turkish death metal hammer of brutality. Although Mustafa Yıldız has amicably departed the project since the recording, his Frank Mullen-meets-Iniquity growls are some my favorite among current death metal acts and his strong presence brings additionally vital brutality to ‘Abiogenesis’.
With each track ranging from 9-12 minutes the focus is less on distinct song patterns and more on four moderately separate movements that form the full listening experience. You cannot simply skip through ‘Abiogenesis’ as it’s structure almost forces a full listen. If you skip around you’ll miss an important development and although each of the four tracks have memorable, re-appearing riff patterns that create some distinction, you’re better off setting up a 40 minute session for it’s entirety. Akün‘s songwriting is impeccably arranged and no song shows this off better than the title track, a twelve minute opus that begins reminiscent of early Amorphis and gives way to Death-esque guitar fills and some hints of modern progressive/brutal death elements. It is a hard combination to describe because Burial Invocation does not rest on any one focus for any of the four songs as they mix brutality with classic, atmospheric, and progressive death influences. The main constant is the alternating presence of their hammer-smashed attack.
The patient fan who is still in debt to ‘Rituals of the Grotesque’ will recognize Burial Invocation but their sound has unquestionably evolved towards more original conception and ambitious structures in the space of eight years. ‘Abiogenesis’ is a glossy rendering of the current state of underground death metal without any giant steps away from their mighty core. Though it stylistically spans the last few decades of pure death metal, it sticks to pure death metal. I see it as a thoughtful directive, and loose induction, for less exploration-bound death metal fans towards death metal that is less restricted by categorical resemblance and more careful about suctioning onto trends.
‘Abiogenesis’ is surely a crowd-pleaser but also a grower and like many great death metal records, I found that it took 2-3 listens to suss out; As I suggested previous, I think it only really works as a full listen and by chopping up the album into four main tracks it has some potential to be daunting for a casual listen. The important thing is that Burial Invocation have conjured a ‘must listen’ in a year where it seems incredible forward (and backward) thinking death metal records release every month.
|Released||July 6, 2018|
|BUY/LISTEN on Dark Descent Records’ Bandcamp!||Follow Burial Invocation on Facebook|
Putrefactive repulsive rebirth. 4.5/5.0
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