It’s nice to see bands grow, when you can remember seeing them as some tiny band in a pub only to witness them be signed to a more major label. It can of course ruin bands making them play to the mainstream and equally add to that protective feeling we get of them being ‘our band’. It’s a silly feeling but I think deep down a lot of us can’t help but feel it. So we must forgive and instead watch our favourite bands thrive. Equally mass appeal can lead to self-promoted elitism, for example my constant annoyance of ‘casuals’ at Maiden shows, petty, but something I often get rattled about, I really am a bit of a saddo.
One such home grown talent whom have risen the ranks are the UK’s own Live Burial. The band hail from Newcastle and have made quite the name for themselves over the years. Yet it was 2016 and the release of their debut album Forced Back To Life that really grasped the underground. It would appear also that it has reached a wider appeal as their latest record Unending Futility is put out through the ever reliable Transcending Obscurity Records. Can the band prove that their Death Metal focused sounds are the envy of the world, or will they fall into the great chasm of obscurity never to be seen again?
The opening track Seeping Into The Earth rumbles in with a great introductory quality, epic and bombastic with firm bass tones and striking classic riffs. All of this is topped with a tinge of Doom before we enter an OSDM style Thrash Death assault complete with agonised Obituary style vocals. Condemned To The Boats continues the traditional Death Metal sound, mixing in elements of Doom and Thrash whilst always retaining a very 90’s underground delivery, almost akin to Autopsy at points. Swing Of The Pendulum most certainly exhibits these Autopsy like qualities in its huge crushing waves of sickness driven riffs, there is an awful lot of worship going on here and I like it a lot.
Crossing the middle of the album comes The Crypt Of Slumbering Madness, another well driven track which exhibits some fantastic bass work, something which is often lacking in a lot of Death Metal nowadays. There is one begrudging factor about this album, Winds Of Solace, the albums interlude. I mean, I get it, it’s a break and a lead up to the climax of sorts but still I don’t enjoy interludes unless they’re amped up to create some sort of insane concept album which is borderline an opera. Alas I’m going on, let’s discuss the final track Cemetery Fog. This lengthy number is a befitting closure as we cry ‘please don’t let this end!’ the song serves as a final drawn out serenade of rot. The track compiles all of the bands elements from Doom to Thrash and packages them all in human skin to give us this final blasting send off.
Truly I didn’t think I’d be as impressed by Unending Futility as I am. It’s a really striking album full of all the things which made me fall in love with Death Metal in the first place. If you’re a fan of Autopsy (specifically Severed Survival) then this is a winner. Equally if you just can’t get enough of that 90’s tone, be it Death Doom, Tech or Thrash then this has got a little something for everyone. This album is a real explanation of the limitless bounds of Death Metal as a broader genre and for that I commend Live Burial. Not enough bands are doing what they’re doing, this is worship done completely right.
(9/10 George Caley)