RE-BURIED – Repulsive Nature (2023)REVIEW

Retching at the rancidity of putrescine and trimethyltin chloride oozing from every frightened, dying pore the noxious atmosphere of the near-dead repels and frustrates the human mind by instinct, a neurochemical reflex beyond the average person’s control. The measurable severity of this response depends entirely upon a neuro-normative specimen, one who fears death by instinctive reaction when faced with signs of impending death, inner decay and mortification en masse. We reach the precipice of unthinkable co-existence with the horrors of rot and decay as we step into the realm of the carrion huffing crew behind Seattle, Washington-borne death metal quartet Re-Buried as they relish in disgust, suffering, and mental collapse amidst their nigh scientific observation of the process of decay. This unconscionably brutal debut full-length album from these folks, ‘Repulsive Nature‘, documents an epicurean scintillation with the odorous, the surreal, and the unjust nature of death itself as these impresarios of putridity land their first full-bodied tackle upon ‘old school’ minded death metal pulverization.

Re-Buried formed in 2018 between folks who’d been involved in some early 2010’s Seattle area deathcore and Los Angeles area sludge groups in their formative years, these days some of the members now feature in exceptional extreme doom metal group Un, too. Knock that trivia out of mind for the moment since past and present output from these folks hasn’t yet shown any sign of influencing their action thus far, as they proffer a sound which consistently aims for a nowadays take on ‘old school’ influenced death metal style. In the two years since the release of their first demo (‘Demo‘, 2020) we find a shift from simple, somewhat plain death metal barbarism with a slightly off-kilter, tuneless basement level clobber within wandering riffs towards a home studio sized headspace. Well-refined rhythms would fully arrive on their split LP with another fairly new Seattle-area death metal band, Deconsecration (‘Deconsecration/Re-Buried‘, 2021) for a notable release I’d reviewed at the time. Though Re-Buried had been a functional death metal band who’d managed some menacing and brutal atmosphere at that point none of their formative releases necessarily compare to the quality of ‘Repulsive Nature‘ thanks to strong production values and a bit more time spent on their groove-built riffs, succinct and forceful arrangements and finely detailed rhythms.

That isn’t to say that the inherent grit of Re-Buried‘s split material goes on entirely unsalvaged, since we find “Hypocrisy Incarnate” and “Sepulchral Stench” developed into two of the more standout pieces on the full-length overall, each benefitting from another pass at the riff count and placement as the tonal pivot between Side A and Side B to keep the roughly ~34 minute engine humming. Though these pieces naturally feel a bit more worked-on, ‘Repulsive Nature‘ overall reads as a thoroughly considered debut from all angles. The sort of work which hadn’t been simply fed into a computer and set to print but jammed, worked out riff-after-riff, as they went on condensing every moment down to a steadily flowing and varietal representative burst of brutal yet atmospheric death metal. With this in mind of course we can reference a hint of early Incantation alongside early brutal death metal and even deathgrind acts but without going fully into the hardcore afflicted side of things (a la the Maggot Stomp crowd) and this is where a seemingly normal-ass death metal record begins to stand apart. You’ll get what I mean once you hit the pocket of ~two and a half minute pieces early in the running order (see: “Planetary Obliteration”). This density of ideas selected for impact which spreads ten songs across just under thirty five minutes allows this debut to impress but not overstate itself with a demanding listen, doing a fine job of generating interest with less-is-more (but not too little) in terms of the rub of the full listen while still impressing with their style.

The gore, the worms, a tormented mind… — One look at the cover art (by way of Digtrash Art) and quick hit of the Billy Anderson rendered production values here and you know you’re getting the higher modern standard for an ‘old school’ minded death metal record in 2023 here, sure, but that’ll be no certain guarantee of substance just yet. We’ll have to take a scalpel to this thing to make sure it has proper innards either way and… after some time spent counting riffs and whipping neck I’ve found ‘Repulsive Nature‘ stacked wall-to-wall with an unstoppable rhythm guitar thread which shows finesse through pacing rather than overt technicality, letting the violence of the drummer cut in as often as possible to keep things from droning into mush or letting any one groove settle too plainly into view. The duo of opener “From Beneath” and the brief stomp of the title track after it give the sensation nearby diving into the middle of ‘Onward to Golgotha‘ to start (see: “Unholy Massacre” into “Entrantment of Evil”) at least in the sense that some of their riffcraft uses similar techniques and the cavernous bludgeoning which bookends certain riffs, here Re-Buried have smartly cued us into the more deliberate mid-paced atmospheric pulse of their sound while keeping it brutal enough that a crusher of a song like “Planetary Obliteration” still works in the major thread built. I’d found those first three songs a brilliant re-introduction to the band and work that’d already impressed beyond anything I’d heard from ’em before.

From there the band keep it moving with the Tomb Mold-esque leads and crunching-about of the intro to “Infinite Suffering” which shows the snaking and creeping Florida death metal conscious side of the band while highlighting some of the vocalist’s range between bellows, barks and rasps as the groove finds its hardcorish crawl mid-song. It doesn’t hold up quite as well as the two previously heard pieces at thier now peak point of development, granted “Hypocrisy Incarnate” is similarly straight forward and “Sepulchral Stench” is an unusual outlier on the record in terms of its jog into heavy metal riffing in the second half, definitely the major highlight of the full listen for my own taste beyond the introductory trio otherwise. At this point we’ve generally learned the riff language of the record as they hit upon a grinding, mid-paced n’ doomed note in the second half (“Throne of Asmodeus”) and all that is left is a grand, grotesque exit by way of “Rancid Womb” but Re-Buried are still introducing new sounds, fresh guitar tones, different types of breaks in the action which avoid any too-glaring redundancies within this already fairly short record. All that this means is that if you’re on board for the style these guys bring on ‘Repulsive Nature‘ it’ll likely end up being highly repeatable for the twisted path it presents in a short amount of time.

Straddling the line between modern revisionism and staunch classicism while presenting another bright new idea within every minute that passes Re-Buried‘s debut masterfully retain the spectacle of this violent yet polished ride of a debut without breaking the wheel. ‘Repulsive Nature‘ may very well play on familiar sounds and well-explored territory yet a particularly astute grasp on finer details and captivating pacing makes it an above average piece of death metal entertainment. If this brand of tautly twisted and selectively brutal ‘new old school’ and kinda brutal sleekness can be considered the feral beginnings of their signature than they’ve set the bar pretty damned high to start yet the full listen will remain easily approachable for both ‘old school’ die-hards and noobs alike. A high recommendation.

High recommendation. (83/100)

Rating: 8 out of 10.
TITLE:Repulsive Nature
LABEL(S):Translation Loss Records
RELEASE DATE:January 20th, 2023

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