The Burial - Lights and Perfections
Record Label: Facedown
Release Date: March 26, 2012
Technical death metal can be a difficult genre to navigate. On one hand there are bands who possess great skill but lack the ability to piece their head-spinning intricacies together cohesively. On the other there exist those bands who aren't quite subtle about their proficiency, but also know how to string these complex exercises in musicianship together in a sensible and structured manner. South Bend Indiana's The Burial are the latter. There's no shortage of higher fret acrobatics or technical riffage on Lights and Perfections but there's also enough simplistic breakdowns and moments of relative minimalism to keep things grounded. But rather than opting for down-tuned slam chords and breakdown upon breakdown with the occasional smattering of technicality, The Burial know just when to employ these more basic moments, keeping the album from veering into chug-core territory.
Production is also an area worthy of note as the instruments all have plenty of room to breathe while operating together nicely, the sound meshing into a hefty metallic slab that is never overpowering or muddled. The riffs are distinct and clear, the drums crisp and loud; the vocals sitting comfortably in the mix without being overbearing nor indistinct. The band sounds like a well-oiled machine with their dense guitar textures interlocking over the thundering presence of the rhythm section. They clearly understand one another musically, and know one another's strengths, each playing off the other with noticeable efficiency.
In terms of creativity there's nothing here fans of technical death metal haven't heard before. The band's familiar blend of hardcore and death metal is sure to call to mind the likes of Volumes, The Contortionist or earlier Between the Buried and Me. However, The Burial don't seem too intent on crafting something other than a solid tech-metal record, something they've most certainly done with Lights and Perfections. In a scene that is so over-saturated with bands who are content to never venture past the third fret and chose instead to recycle the same tired breakdowns time and again, bands like The Burial are a welcome breath of fresh air.