A Dark Burial

Talk about black sheep. While the rest of their countrymates are content to make a clattery, blastbeating black metal racket, this Bergen, Norway-based act crunch out a mix of groovy doom and gravelly 90s Swedish death. Call it Entombed in ice.

Although A Dark Burial is only Syrach’s third full-length in thirteen years (there was a lengthy eleven year gap between the debut and sophomore efforts), they display a maturity and craftmanship that makes the band sound as if they’d been at it the entire time. Songs have a steady, logical flow, with distinct passages and strong melodies.

Opener “Curse the Souls” has a shaggy, lumbering gait throughout, slowing occasionally to a mysterious shimmer. A few subtle black influences creep in towards the end with the wandering, Burzum-ish melodies that unfurl like mist. The title track slows down considerably more, like a corpse-littered glacier creeping down a mountain-pass, year over year bringing those bodies back home. It briefly cranks to a faster gallop – those bodies rising up to hack, maim and raid once more – before settling into a more menacing rhythm. Solitary bass line, crashing slabs of guitar and a lone spoken vocal. Classic doom. “Mourner’s Kiss” brings in more swagger, with majestic, grand and mysterious melodies, whereas “In Darkness I Sigh” cranks to a punchier, classic heavy metal tempo, then slithers out with twisty, sinuous dread.

Mixing hazy doom and fuzzed-out, murderous death is nothing new – plenty of the 90s Swedish acts had this sound. Still, with plenty of doom these days either going for swooning, mournful melody or glacial, funeral pacing, it’s good to hear bands like Syrach keeping that smoky, classic-doom fire alight.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
January 29th, 2010


  1. Commented by: Juan Pinto

    That “corpse-littered glacier” thing would be a good idea for a movie. “Glacier Corpse Apocalypse” or “Frozen Zombie Holocaust” or something…
    Also, when I saw the “Entombed in ice” bit I had to read it again, for a second I thought it was “Entombed on Ice”. As in Entombed performing on skates at an ice rink.

  2. Commented by: gabaghoul

    Entombed on Ice, LOL

  3. Commented by: Rabid1

    Entombed on ice would be the next logical progression after the ballet of “Unreal Estate”, no?

  4. Commented by: Juan Pinto

    I would say next logical step. I don’t really think Entombed has made any proggression since “Clandestine”.

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