Burial Ritual
Tower of Silence

Attention all extreme metal record labels, Milwaukee’s Burial Ritual deserves a spot on your roster. Check out the precision death metal execution and memorable songwriting of Tower of Silence and I defy you to disagree. That’s not to say that self-released albums aren’t typically worthy of your time, but it is still a pleasant surprise when one as good as Tower of Silence comes along.

This one works from top to bottom and on several levels. Loads of crunch, lots of groove, plenty of brutality, and the arrangements are constructed for maximum impact; in this case meaning that the emphasis is always on the song rather than showmanship. Vocalist Chris Brooks brings a thick, intelligible growl to go with well-placed screams, and the patterns are smartly written. The vibe is old school leaning, at times reminding of Deicide, albeit with more arrangement variation and blackened tinges, yet with just enough modern sensibility to keep it fresh.

Tower of Silence makes such a big impact because it is packed with strong tunes, great riffs, and effective tempo balancing. “Blood Feud” pounds away with a pinch-harmonic accented ascending riff that gives way to a monster pace shift and naked bass line, while shrieks contrast splendidly with a growl that follows the pounding riff/rhythm. “Sectarian Death Squad” is the album’s anti-Jihad track, one that begins with the sound of a suicide bomber and lyrical content centered on (paraphrasing) a big “fuck you” to mission-driven piety and blind faith. Here again, Burial Ritual does a nice job balancing quick gallops with slow cadences, tossing in some black metal picking and yet another ominous bass line that soon couples with a doomy riff around the 2:30 mark. The album then takes an unexpected, yet refreshing, turn during “Atop the Funeral Pyre” when a cleanly picked guitar introduces doom metal crush ‘n churn, including a melodic passage with majestic, keyboard-created atmosphere. And it friggin’ works!

The album’s most disturbing topic is addressed during one of its catchiest tracks; “Fantasy of Rape” is one of two highlights (the other being “Sectarian Death Squad”), coming alive with staccato riffs and rapid fire vocal bursts that remind to some extent of James Lee’s (Origin) precision patterning. The album then wraps up with an instrumental intro called “The Gathering Storm,” a symphonic march of sorts.

The short of it is that Tower of Silence is highly recommend for fans of classic, song-driven death metal that is as memorable as it is foreboding. Very well done, guys!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
July 30th, 2009


  1. Commented by: corporatedemon

    Sounds amazing…I gotta check this out.

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