Burial Ritual hail from Wisconsin, as part of the state’s burgeoning death metal scene. Playing what I would describe as blackened death metal, they also sound pretty original for the scene as well. The gorey cover and the logo by Christophe help set the stage for the band as well..
The first thing that stood out for me is that Burial Ritual rock one of the best recorded demos I’ve heard from Wisconsin bands up until now. The production is pretty solid for a self-funded recording of a fairly unknown band. The drums are heavily triggered, as is the way, but all-in-all it’s not too annoying and the recording definitely gets across the primary sound for these guys which is pretty much brutal death metal, complete with chug and pig squeals, meets atmospheric black metal.
This is actually a pretty interesting combination of sounds, if you think about it. There aren’t very many bands who have even tried to do something similar to it. However, the execution could really be better. The first three tracks on the album suffer from what I consider to be bad changes, boring riffs and way too much repetitiveness. Instead of punching you in the face with their brutality, they kinda poke you on the forehead with their persistence, while never really having the intended effect of kicking your ass.
Fortunately, the record gets better. While the fourth track “Cannibalistic Tendencies” is better than the first three tracks, it still has some sorta boring funeral doom style riffs that do nothing for me, but also there are a couple of awesome riffs and some good guitar melodies that make up for it. This transitional song brings us into the part of the record that I think is actually pretty brilliant. Starting with the acoustic intro to “Atop a Funeral Pyre,” the album goes from boring to compelling. The riffs that were previously boring become face crushing and the composition is absolutely 100% improved. Honestly, I’ve never heard anything like this in my life. Usually a band doesn’t rebound on the second half of an album so strong as these guys do, but for whatever reason the rest of this record is a fucking blinder.
What this tells me is that Burial Ritual has some serious potential. If they can get their composition in tact with everything else that they’re doing well, that is, their playing, the excellent vocal approach and their borderline professional sound, I definitely could see them with a label in the near future. My suggestion to them would be to continue towards the blackened side of the “blackened death” label, because their best material seems to be rooted in that. The sporadic keyboards should get some more space and the blasty riffs keep a lot of the stuff here interesting and compelling.