Melbourne band Cemetery Urn is something of an extreme metal super group. Various members have come from such bands as Abominator, Bestial Warlust, Destroyer 666, Sadistik Execution, and Dreadnaught. Member era have come and gone over the years, but the talent in the band has always shone through. Founded in 2006 and still going strong, they are a staple in the local scene as well as touring internationally. Cemetery Urn are about to release their fourth full length album ‘Barbaric Retribution’. This album has a lot to live up to. Which it most definitely does successfully. The aural assault starts straight away with Victim Defiled. Straight up we have some blast beats and an old school blackened death metal sound to the riffs. The vocals of S. Geoffrey are deep and guttural, really punctuating the heavy guitar. The song has a frenetic pace and a very aggressive feel. It is a great introductory song for an album from a band renowned for its aggression.
Ghost Of Suicide is similar but with a slower, more atmospheric sound. The excellent blackened death guitar riffs really stand out on this track, intricate and unrelenting with a killer solo. The guitar duties are shared by A. Gillon and D. Maccioni, and in this track the skill these two carry really stands out. Next up is Deathmask Preserver. This song has a slight medic tinge with a touch of doom to it. Slower and very heavy at first, it slowly builds to a deadly death metal frenzy. This song is a little unsettling in a very good way. It shakes up the listener and brings something different. This leads into Down The Path Of Death. With this they kick up the pace. The clean mix really showcases the different parts of the song, more intricate guitar parts mix with raw, in your face musical fury. The drum work of M. Crossingham really impresses on this track. From a pounding, marching feel, to rolling blast beats, Crossingham really gives an edge to this track. The different parts of this track come together nicely and really elevate this to be more than your average extreme metal.
Manifesto Putrefactio slows down to a menacing pace, and lays on the oppressive atmosphere. This song gives a different angle to the hate filled menace of the album as a whole. Slower paced, the composition is simple, but effective. This song is heavy, so heavy, and almost has a feeling of doom. The auditory version of waiting for the sword to fall. Its a refreshing change that pics the album up as a whole. The aural assault never lets up as we lead into the title track, Barbaric Retribution. This track is fast and wild, really bringing the death metal sound. This song has different compositional changes but never loses tempo. The guitar work is fantastic on this track, the riffs rising and falling yet never losing speed. This track I would be very keen to see live as the mosh pit would be insane! Then we have Semblance Of Malignant Mastery. This continues with the bands signature sound. But with a thrash element that really adds something.The guitar solo has a melodic tinge without losing the brutality, and the guttural vocals on this really pack a punch.
A deeper, richer tone leads us into Putrefied Living Flesh. This song has a building feel. The pace gets faster and faster, the attack unrelenting. The guitars and drums crash together in a wall of extreme sound. The different elements blend together, but never lose anything. There is a real old school death metal feel to this song that works. This song is short but fast and hard with a killer guitar solo. Another highlight that would be great to see live and the reviewers favourite. The album closes out with Tendrils Of Defilement, which ends it on a high note. This has a more blackened death and less polished sound that really rounds it out. The guitar really stands out here, melodic elements blend with hard and fast riffs. There are subtle parts hidden within the extreme grind. Geoffery’s vocals are a deeper growl that matches pace with the music perfectly. There is a signature sound to the whole album but each song has subtle differences that showcase the amazing talent and skill contained within Cemetery Urn. Their reputation as staples of the extreme metal scene is proven in each song. At times the production is a little too polished. This doesn’t always work even when it allows us to heart he subtleties in each instrument. So far this has matched, if not topped, their previous releases. The live shows for this will be phenomenal. A definite must have addition to the collection of those serious about the Australian extreme music scene.
You can pre-order your copy of ‘Barbaric Retribution’ HERE.
Cemetery Urn Play a show on Friday, August 10, at the Bendigo Hotel. Details HERE.