Two years after their debut comes the US formation with a sophisticated album where the use of formal and archaic English is a corollary to biblical lyrics, dealing with deceit of religions, cliches, the thaumatrope, mankind's faults and Catholic paedophilia. Everything from Ana Kefr (I am infidel in Arabic) lies beneath the main theme of death, alias The Burial Tree.
"Ash-Shahid" starts hostilities, followed by "Emago", between Cradle Of Filth and Dimmu Borgir, but a bit sicker, while "Monody" adds Viking and female vocals to the recipe. There's much more in these and in the remaining tracks, blending Death, Black, Prog, Metalcore with occasional employment of a sax, a clarinet, a djembe, a score of clean and unclean vocals, several rhythm modifications, and finally intros and outros galore.
Every composition is glued to the others without silence nor interruptions and is able to display each side of the act's members' background.
The skills and the sounds achieve elevated quality levels, whereas the artwork makes not to doubt to be intriguing; notwithstanding, considering that we're before their sophomore release we realize we'd expect even a further raising of the bar from the songwriting aspect, being that still a tad green once in a while. The cause might be found in the fact that there isn't still perfect tuning between old and new members, even though the ideas they've collected are pretty worthy, especially the orchestrations, or the first part of "In The House Of Distorted Mirrors", or even better in the marvellous "Thaumatrope". Moreover, the mad and absurd chip called "Apoptosis" is much more than a bastard child between The Dillinger Escape Plan and Cyber metal vocals, it lives on its own and it does that in an awesome manner.
"The Burial Tree" appears a courageous effort, sometimes delighting us with great clean/wicked vocals, symphonic parts and blasts alternating with midtempos and trillings, yet unfortunately often sounding like a collage of multiform structures assembled with a rough-and-ready rule in the beginning; thus the average listener receives an impression of unsmoothness and uncapability of fruition, yet the songs prove this band is one of true professionalism with the packages they send out, the images they create, and the music they play. Do what you can as a fan to get these guys signed to a big label by not being inattentive during the multiple listens. They deserve it, and metal deserves it. Show me your horns. Will you be up to this new 14-track platter?
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 20th May 2011