Oregon based death metal four piece band Burials have teamed up with California based black / death entity Exhausted prayer to release a split album this January. Despite the bands sharing very little common ground in terms of stylistic choices, both these bands have one common aspect in that they both tend to add a chaotic and progressive spin to their respective styles of choice. This split release which is being handled jointly by Apes Who Looked Up and Rose Quarter Records is my introduction to both these bands. Once again this leads me to stress upon how splits are valuable in discovering new bands with relative ease.
First up on this split is Burials, who started out as a metallic hardcore act back in 2008 and have since been honing their craft and pushing the boundaries with each release. The band’s sound today can be described as a complex and progressive take on hardcore meets death metal. Burials give this split a noisy feedback drenched start on Ten Peaks, unleashing quick bursts of technically complex riffs.
While such a combination could have easily been made into a unrelenting, aggressive riff fest, Burials incorporate post-hardcore like elements into the mix to give it a more atmospheric flavour. Burials do not keep things consistently fast and they do allow moments of atmospheric sludginess. This can be heard quite prominently on the closing tracks Laccolith and Gulfoss. This gives the overall sound of Burials a very dynamic feel with clear influences from death metal, a bit of thrash, hardcore, progressive metal and everything in between.
The second half of the split features the Californian four piece Exhausted Prayer who bring their progressive twist to the blackened side of death metal. While the first half of the split is chaotic in it’s hardcore tinged sound, the second half opts for a more atmospheric approach. Exhausted Prayer incorporate progressive metal inspired touches to a black / death metal riff work rife with tremolos and second wave worship. These technically complex addition to the standard blackened death riff pattern adds an interesting mix to the sound.
Exhausted Prayer also exhibit the tendency to going for more straightforward, blackened attacks on tracks like Shitgazer and Infinite Shadow. Here they mix tremolo heavy riffs with dissonant lead work, both coming together to create a maddening atmosphere. This contrasts with the way the album closer A Grim Homecoming starts, where in the music is more restrained with an interesting slow jazz like beat starting things off before everything goes haywire. Herein the track exhibits influences from progressive and traditional death metal, with moments of rapid blackened riffing thrown in for good measure.
This release is a solid introduction to two bands that might not have been your radar before this. Though Burials and Exhausted Prayer operate in different wavelengths of the extreme metal spectrum, the chaotic, zany song writing choices by both bands ensure that a common thread runs throughout this split release. This release inspires me to go back and dig around the back catalog of both these bands right now.