Burial Ritual
Exterminating the Masses

A new discovery for some and a reaffirmation for others, old school Swedish death metal has achieved a level of appreciation and acceptance these past few years that exceeds that afforded it during its original era. As an admitted fan I’d be the last person to find fault with that, but let’s not forget the first and subsequent waves of U.S. death metal upon which just as many bands have based their sound this century. It was recent spins of new Burial Ritual album Exterminating the Masses that served as my own personal reminder of the greatness of the USDM legacy.

In the case of the Milwaukee mashers, it is the sounds of Suffocation that serve as the template to a noticeably more pronounced extent than was the case on 2009’s Tower of Silence, an album I reviewed on these very pages and found hugely satisfying. From “Accosting the Mindless” to “Subhuman Species” to closing cut “Full Spectrum Dominance,” Exterminating the Masses brings to mind the serrated riffs, rhythmic churn, and Mullen-esque growls (delivered here in convincing, intelligible form by Chris Brooks) of prime Suffocation. Burial Ritual doesn’t hit the technical highs (nor is that necessary), instead sticking to that meaty part of the gnarly curve. As was the case on Tower of Silence, the band hones in on the fundamental elements of the song itself, ensuring that front-to-back spins offer the listener more than just a blur of vomit and brutality. Good riffs, great tone, and some cool nuances, such as the channel-to-channel shifts on songs like “Accosting the Mindless” fit nicely with the conciseness of the writing.

I enjoyed Burial Ritual’s last goblet of gore and find Exterminating the Masses equally tasty, if not more so. Part of that has to do with my love of Suffocation and the rest of it for my appreciation of what Burial Ritual has accomplished here, that being a thoroughly enjoyable, no frills display of USDM. There is nothing on Exterminating the Masses that hasn’t already been done and not a shred of reason why that should make any difference to fans of the style. Now let’s hope that Burial Ritual achieves a greater level of exposure with this release. They deserve it.


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
February 13th, 2012


  1. Commented by: Geno Cidal

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