BURIAL HORDES – Ruins (Album Review)

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Hellenic act Burial Hordes explores on their recent album “Ruins” the introspective nature of the black metal psyche through resonant chord plucks, and then delivers scruffy tremolo-picked riffs to inject the sheer pace and brute force of death metal into the whole. The black metal spirit, traditionally the roots of the band, is most prevalent on a track like “Perish”: dissonant open-string picking juxtaposed with feral power chord sections, and that big trad black metal part in the middle is reminiscent of the most iconic nineties bands, but still utterly at home here.

The sour vocals convey scorn in a fashion lending its low-to-mid register with a high energy. They’re occasionally aided by a reverberating presence at their back for sheer size and subtle ambiance, as on the determined “A Wandering Stream of Wind”. The tracks do well navigating between an Ulcerate, the aforementioned black metal classic sound of a Satyricon, the death/black 7-string gruff of Behemoth, and among other influences, still make the crucial effort of forging real melodies framed inside strongly cast progressions interspersed with clear-cut riffs.

There’s a real sense of fluidity listening to the album as the tracks go by, and although some occasional moments definitely aren’t wrought with the most original raw material, there’s definitely enough from song to song to not feel cheated and keep going. They’re also not afraid to combine the more complex chord work with simpler patterns and emotions: that repeating riff at the end of “Isotropic Eradication” is a testament to the band refusing to go all-out technical, preferring to lead a balanced attack with an utmost importance given to those more sticky themes, generally laden with dissonance and the discernible disturbance depicted in each of them.

“Ruins” Album Artwork

Those dissonant themes can sometimes be too close to past classics: the first part on the final track “…to the Threshold of Silence” cannot avoid reminding one of Deathspell Omega‘s early work. It’s still somehow incorporated into an ensemble of a track that makes it an interesting listen, despite sounding so very close to previous works.

The emphasis on crafting actual songs rather than technically impressive bits of discordant fury as seems a general trend in the industry is highly appreciable in this day and age. This mixes the contortions of death metal riffing well with the dissonant approach of 21st-century black metal, and does it with fluency.

Released By: Transcending Obscurity Records
Release Date: June 9th, 2023
Genre: Blackened Death Metal

Ruin” Track List:

  1. In the Midst of a Vast Solitude
  2. Insubstantial
  3. Perish view
  4. A Wandering Stream of Wind
  5. Infinite Sea of Nothingness
  6. Isotropic Eradication
  7. Purgation
  8. …To the Threshold of Silence
7.9 Great

Burial Hordes unveil a remarkable fusion of blackened death metal that seamlessly combines tumult and ambiance, evoking a broader spectrum of emotions in this fiercely intense record

  • Songwriting 8.5
  • Musicianship 8
  • Originality 7
  • Production 8
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