Buried Realm
Embodiment of the Divine

What would you get if you placed Hypocrisy, Soilwork, and Children of Bodom in a blender? Well, two things: Several murder charges and a smoothie of which Jeffrey Dahmer would be envious. If you just wanted to mix their musical styles instead of all the people, you may have something similar to Buried Realm.

For our less astute readers who hadn’t guessed it (we call you mouth breathers behind your backs… your crooked, deformed, gross backs), Buried Realm are melodic death metal. This is their second album, although the first time I’ve heard the name. It’s self-released and produced. Main man Josh Dummer does the vocals and most of the instruments, save for some guest appearances including Andy Gillion (Mors Principium Est), Benjamin Ellis (Scar Symmetry), Bob Katsionis (ex-Firewind), Dean Arnold (Operus, ex-Vital Remains), Lee McKinney (Born of Osiris), Peter Wichers (ex-Soilwork), Rafael Trujillo (ex-Obscura), Ryan Strain (Chaos For The Masses). The master is by Dan Swanö, so you know it sounds pristine.

To my ears, the Hypocrisy reference concerns Josh’s vocals as he sounds a lot like Peter Tägtgren. This is the prevalent style he employs, but not the only as he is sort of a vocal chameleon. He uses a deep death growl, as well as some cleans reminiscent of Björn Strid of the previously mentioned Soilwork. He is one of my favorite modern metal vocalists, so no complaints here, even though it’s not exactly a copycat performance.

I get some major latter era Hypocrisy vibes with the first two tracks, “The Burning Remnants” and “Overlord.” This comes from the guitar tone, vocals, and the lead work. Both songs include some finger tapping solos which make me super jealous. As mentioned above, however, they’re certainly no clone.

The next track is“Master Psychosis” and it’s my first stand out. It’s a little shorter than the previous two, but has that previously mentioned Soilwork vibe, mostly in the vocal hook department. Ditto for “In the Shallow Light.” This is not to take anything away from either track as the songwriting chops are evident, as well as the impeccable musicianship, particularly in the outstanding leads found on the latter.

We go from Swedish death metal to Finnish when the Children of Bodom claims arise in the keyboard solo found on “Silver Tongue.” The guitar playing overall in the track is reminiscent of Alexi Laiho himself. The title track, “Embodiment of the Divine” includes another one of those distinct keyboard sections that will remind the listener of COB.

This is all a long-winded way of saying Buried Realm pleasantly surprised me with Embodiment of the Divine. What really impresses me is a musician of this talent being unsigned. There are many labels who could scoop this band up and they would likely be a heavyweight. Josh Dummer is a star in the making. If you couldn’t tell, I enjoy this album immensely. It’s at times catchy, brutal, awe-inspiring, and accessible. While it has many obvious influences, Buried Realm have still made something all their (his) own. What more could you want from a melodic death metal album? Seriously, tell me… because this is nearly perfect.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
August 26th, 2020

Comments

  1. Commented by: Steve K

    This is sweet! Cool to hear Wichers on a track again. I still respect what Soilwork are doing these days, but I definitely miss the Wichers era.


  2. Commented by: J. Mays

    I don’t miss the Wichers era necessarily, but only because their releases are still top quality. I wasn’t a huge fan of their most recent, but with that in mind, it was still good, just not mind-blowing.


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