Emanations from the Crypt

Ohio’s grinding death maniacs, Embalmer have been around since the late 80’s. Obviously being around that long the band has had a revolving door of musicians throughout their 25+ years in existence. When I joined Internal Bleeding in ’94, I was introduced to Embalmer and they became one of my fave bands. Rick Fleming’s vocals were a huge influence on my vocals on the second IB album. I wore the projectile vomit shirt for the group photo on back of the first IB album. We played many shows with them and all the mid-west great dm bands.   Several years ago Sevared Records released The Collection of Carnage double cd. One of the best reissues of all time it compiled all of Embalmer’s prior material in a beautiful remastered format. The debut Embalmer album 13 Faces of Death was even remixed for the release which greatly helped it’s listenability.  If you have never heard Embalmer the best way to describe them would be brutal American death metal. Grinding blast beats with low gurgly clogged sewer pipe vocals.

So after the comp was released longtime singer Rick was released from his duties. Enter in Mr. Paul Gorefiend who came in and replaced Rick.  Paul is a longtime scene supporter for over 2 decades.   I’ve known him since the 90’s and he is a great person who understands the DIY mentality that’s necessary to promote your band in the underground death metal scene.  Emanations from the Crypt features a slight change in style for the band, but no less brutal.  This album is 12 songs in 31 minutes and is a downright brutal, dirty, raw, primitive death thrashing metal. The departure is in the speed department. The songs never truly get into blast beat territory. Think really fast death metal, like the classic “One Foot in the Grave” classic Slaughter (can) song from 1987, that speed. Very fast, but not blast beating and this makes the album have more of a death/thrashiness to it. The other thing is in the vocal department.

There is none and I mean NO drop off in the vocal area with Paul replacing Rick. Paul has a very 90’s brutal death metal style of delivery. Very deep and menacing. Think Chris Barnes from like the Butchered at Birth record to get an idea, as well as sounding like Fleming in certain parts.  Paul is fuckin monstrous on this. Now onto some of the stand out tracks.  Opening the album with “Dead Female Stalker”, Embalmer wastes no time with a fancy intro.  Nice drum beat, before going right into a quick beat with Paul ripping out a nice higher pitch growl.  Hey how about the 1.28 part?? Guitar solo, nifty.  Yes Embalmer sprinkles guitar solos throughout the album. Very cool.  The title track is one of the finest songs Embalmer has ever written.  The song begins with a killer ultra heavy doomy part that screams Autopsy, before Paul rips out a scream and then goes into a killer long guttural growl, and this part reminds me of the classic Embalmer tune, “Bone Box”.  At the minute mark, tune picks up speed a bit, with a vintage 90’s death metal beat.  Then at the 2.30 part song goes back into the great opening, this time equipped with a guitar solo.  This tune is heavy, ass kicking and pretty ferocious.

“The Casket Calls” is incredible, with its vintage Black Sabbath opening riff.  This part sounds like it was lifted off one of the first 3 Sabbath albums-I love this opening, obviously.  Paul rips out another killer guttural growl and the slow plodding nature of this, then gets into a Bolt Thrower tank like mid-paced rumbling heaviness that opened up sinkholes along I95.  Seeing people drive to their impending doom, not knowing what was in front of them, made me laugh in morbid delight, as I rocked back and forth.   “They Can Smell Our Blood”, has some chaotic drumming and nice bass guitar work with incredible vocal patterns, with Paul singing pretty fast in certain parts.  The 2.20 part will have you swinging fisticuffs in the pit.  Oh my dark lord, I wanted to pick up skyscrapers and eat them like I was Godzilla.  Then the 3 minute mark comes in with Paul’s killer growl and I began karate chopping people until their heads were flying off their necks like it was nobody’s business.  Don’t forget to do some air guitar soloing at the end of this song.

One minor quibble and this is maybe more subjective than anything else.  I really would have liked Roy to do some blast beats on the album.  I think it would enhance their sound a bit more.  The reason I say this is at times, the fast drum beat, becomes quite repetitive and gets a tad monotonous, when they are at that fast speed.  If they would slip some of those faster moments into a grind blast, like on previous Embalmer material, it would make these moments more creative.  I did mention the production is a bit raw, for me this is not a drawback, necessarily.  For others who like their death metal perfect sounding and triggered like a typewriter, look elsewhere.  This is natural, vintage brutal death metal, played like it was in the 90’s, in the U.S.A.  When you have followed the band as long as I and others have it always brings a smile to one’s face to hear a band put out their best material.  I know how hard the entire band has worked on creating this album and how much Paul worked on his vocals.  The fact is this-you can tell.  Embalmer have crafted a brutal death metal album, but that has enough catchy and memorable parts for you to be humming and growling in your head, long after you have put the music back in its respective case.

The highlighted songs, I mentioned, are what I think are the shining moments, however the rest of the album destroys as well.  The band has been relentless in their promoting of this album and Paul has worked alongside the record label to come up with many creative packages for all the various fans out there.  I have seen the layout and everything, down to the album cover is spectacular.  Embalmer can look upon  Emanations from the Crypt and be proud at this accomplishment.  This is the best death metal release for 2016, thus far, and is an outstanding effort by the band.  I am proud and happy for them and failing to purchase this album will leave you Reduced to Human Scum.  Buy or Die!!!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
March 23rd, 2016


  1. Commented by: Jay

    Absolutely killer review Frank. You hit everything I feel about Embalmer in this one and I’m a big long-time fan as we discussed! I ended up reviewing this for another site Vile Views, so I’m glad to see this album get as much quality PR as possible. It deserves it.

    Kick ass fuckin’ job all around man, you’re a great writer with superb knowledge of death metal in general.

  2. Commented by: Jay

    And I’ve talked to Paul too and just from our couple of conversations, I know how much he put into his performance here.

  3. Commented by: Frini

    Jay-many thanks for your compliments!!\m/

  4. Commented by: Marcus Broadham

    Fuck this is killer! Great review Frank, and from what I can hear so far a great record. Going on HHR to pick one up now

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