Friday, May 3, 2013
Churchburn - Churchburn (2013)
Obviously, the big draw here for many will be presence of Dave Suzuki (formerly of Vital Remains). Lead-wise, his style hasn't changed much since his contributions to VR, the riffs, however, are an entirely different story. You can forget about any sort of "hyper-speed" rhythmic fluctuations. Anyone expecting full-on satanic death metal will be bitching about it later on some gay forum for chumps whose feelings got hurt. This is not for speed freaks. This is 100% doom!
I'm surprised that VR didn't just tap Suzuki to handle vocal duties during his tenure in that band as his voice here certainly buries anything that Glen Benton did with that band. I can only surmise that aside from the allure of having a "name-brand" personality such as Benton to bolster the ranks at the VR camp, Suzuki was simply too busy manning just about everything else (drums, bass and lead guitar). Dave's voice here is more than reminiscent of Benton's tried and true "caco-shriek" of old, sans the "beefier" low end. Musically, this is the sort of thing that I love the most yet have come to realize, long ago, its tendency to manifest in extremely small doses every so often. Historically, doom (mainly of the funeral/death variety) is not the most prolific sub-genre, so when gems such as this one come along, they tend to carry with them that little something extra.
Churchburn is indeed a winner on all fronts and I am quite amped to see what these guys do next. Definitely one of the best releases of the year so far, and for my money, light years beyond anything that Vital Remains has released throughout the entirety of their career.