The press release for this outfit is sadly lacking in detail, however my superior Google-Fu Boolean Fist has unearthed a little background for you. Hailing from a picturesque southern district of German Bavaria, lone multi-instrumentalist Gerileme recorded a demo of doomy black metal way back in 2009. This featured a genuine pipe organ that he played and recorded at his local church. Sadly, upon listening back to the recordings he realised that the organ had been out of tune, didn’t match the guitar sound, so promptly shelved the whole project in frustration.
Revisiting the project in 2017, Gerileme rearranged and recording the original songs before naming Burial In The Woods in 2018. To avoid the production gremlins spawned a decade ago when local clergy failed to adequately maintain their musical equipment, a software organ was used this time around, which still manages to convey an authentic atmosphere.
“Church Of Dagon” consists of three original compositions, plus a cover. Each song hosts its own idiosyncrasies, though each original tackles Lovecraftian themes lyrically; “Forbidden Pages” is about the Necronomicon, “Ecclesia Dagoni” references the Esoteric Order of Dagon, whilst “Growing Shadows” takes inspiration from the city of Innsmouth.
“Forbidden Pages” begins with a church organ intro, before layered guitar melodies and rhythms join the fray alongside snarling despairing vocals. In places the down-tuned rhythm guitars almost threaten to deviate into the suffocating territory favoured by a lot of todays blackened death bands, but their presence in the mix is suitably balanced to ensure that the abundance of other details in these songs can breathe.
“Eclesia Dagoni” boasts the fully fledged processional atmospherics that Summoning and Caladan Brood have both proved so adept at in, yet never becomes derivative. The lone pipe organ and folky choir lend a lot of atmospherics, whilst the baritone voice sat beneath the main chorus line keeps things suitably sinister. “Growing Shadows” reminds me of older My Dying Bride in parts, including the high pitched discordant string bends. Tremolo picked guitars sit over a doomy down-tuned rhythms, with howling vocals of despair bringing a more familiar funereal tone to proceedings.
The final track, “Gölgeler Alemi” (Turkish for “Realm of Shades”), is a 24 minute epic originally released by Negatum in 2008. It has a natural home amongst these other compositions, with three or four layered dread infused (dark dense creepy atmosphere) guitar melodies again sitting amongst doomy riffs, complemented by organ and chorus.
All in all this is an accomplished and mature debut, providing a wonderfully complex addition to the pantheon of doomy black metal. It’s all the more impressive when you consider that it’s all the work of one person.