Sep 272022

(Andy Synn delivers a Death Metal-centric edition of The Best of British)

The UK Death Metal scene is a fertile place, no doubt about it.

Of course, such a bountiful harvest does sometimes make it hard to separate the wheat from the chaff (here’s a little bit of advice – stringing together a few generic grooves and mediocre, mid-paced blastbeats does not make you “the next Bolt Thrower”) but that’s just the price you pay for living in such interesting times.

One thing that separates these bands from the rest of the pack – in my opinion – is that they don’t play it safe. Sure, they’re standing on the shoulders of giants (aren’t we all?) but they’re taking risks – some big, some small – and pushing themselves in an attempt to climb even higher, demonstrating a level of ambition that, honestly, I wish more bands had instead of just settling for being just another fish in an increasingly over-crowded pond.

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Jul 222022

Two years have passed since the release of Live Burial’s striking second album, Unending Futility, and now these British ghouls have crawled from their crypt again, bearing a third album in their monstrous claws. As with the second album, the new one will be released by Transcending Obscurity Records, and it is again embellished with the cover artwork of Luke Oram. In February 2020 we premiered a song from the second album, and now we’re doing it again for the third one.

The name of the new full-length is Curse of the Forlorn, a title that suits the music, which carries forward the band’s doom influences, and does indeed sound cursed. Death metal through and through, these songs slug with gruesome, bone-shaking force, create horrifying supernatural nightmares, and explode in convulsions of maniacal fretwork and frenzied percussion.

The music is capable of both suffocating hope and supercharging the senses with high-voltage energy. It’s muscular enough to pack a wallop and creepy enough that its horrors shiver the spine, and the embroidery of the guitar-work has become even more technically accomplished and elaborate than before, adding to the music’s dynamism. We have a great example of all these qualities in the song we’re presenting today — “Blood and Copper“. Continue reading »

Feb 132020


The UK death metal band Live Burial (whose five-man line-up shares members with Horrified, Plague Rider, and Rat Faced Bastard) demonstrated a lot of versatility over the course of their two early short releases in 2013 and 2014, and their 2016 debut album Forced Back To Life, prompting the people at Metal-Archives to characterize their music as “Death/Doom Metal (early)” and “Death/Thrash Metal (later)”. But after those people hear the band’s new album they will be left scratching their heads and wondering how to update that genre description. Maybe they’ll just sigh and write “Death Metal”, and leave it at that. It definitely won’t do to sum them up as “Death/Thrash” any longer.

The band’s new album, Unending Futility, displays a multitude of interests, most of them rooted in the early days of such bands as Asphyx, Morgoth, Death, Cancer, and Bolt Thrower (with doses of rampant grind-inspired savagery in the mix). But rather than a patch-work quilt of styles, Live Burial‘s songwriting produces dynamic songs that are cohesive, integrating their influences with remarkable assurance and gruesome style.

The first advance track revealed from the album in advance of its April 3rd release by Transcending Obscurity Records was “Condemned To the Boats“, which proved to be a roiling and rapacious gore-splattering assault that descended into gloomy depths of oppressive horror. The song we’re presenting today, on the other hand, is even darker and more horrifying, while also revealing an even more elaborate sense of dynamics in the (very impressive) songwriting. Continue reading »