Review: “Embodiment of The Divine” by Buried Realm

Josh Dummer is the kind of multi instrumentalist who has the vision for the extraordinary. In 2017 he put together his first offering “Ichor Carcinoma” as a solo project under the name Buried Realm and sold the idea to a collection of well known and highly skilled musicians, getting them to appear as guests on the songs. Those include Christopher Amott (Arch Enemy, Armageddon), Peter Wichers (Soilwork), Teemu Mäntysaari (Wintersun) and Travis Montgomery (Threat Signal, Jeff Loomis band). Returning now in 2020 the Colorado resident, inspired by the likes of Opeth, Kreator, Old Man’s Child and Symphony X brings us a sophomore album in “Embodiment of The Divine” that follows the same path…

…One look at the album sleeve or track list and you can see how many guests are on “Embodiment of The Divine” and it makes for a jaw dropping proposition, especially given it’s predecessor “Ichor Carcinoma”, which is an absolute face melter from start to finish. The fierce and technical “The Burning Remnants” get’s things going like a petrol on a bonfire, with slick technical solos layering up the Death Metal offering in some style. What’s interesting is that there are hints of other Metal styles in some of the riffs, like hair metal for example but they don’t weigh down the track in anyway. The drumming is brutal, if it’s not programmed then there is some Gene Hoglan esq skill on show here. “Overlord” plays Gillion’s riffing against some shriller unclean vocals with Dummer able to offer two distinctly different voices. The darker voice heard on the open track is then layered in to create the effect of a twin vocal attack. There is a nitro fueled energy to the whole thing with an almost relentless pacing set from the very start of a tale about a shape shifting overlord. Featuring more in the way of Thrash riffs “Master Psychosis” has flavours of Trivium within it’s intricate folds and with two guests upon the cut it still remains a distinctly Buried Realm cut. The first track to feature anything in the way of clean vocals, it maintains the energy of the previous two tracks and sounds just as colossal and impressive while having that extra element and tells a tale not far from the likes of “Sweating Bullets” by Megadeth

…Gillion returns for the second time on “Scales of Queen Dragon” which has a Power Metal styled lyric and flavours of Nekrogoblikon as it races through the jungle at pace. The technical solos are simply breath taking and there are nuances that crawl out of the woodwork like termites over multiple listens as your brain is too busy thinking about how good something was, to properly register the next stunning moment. There is an Asian groove to “Silver Tongue” which also has some programmed elements buried in the mix as the dark tale unfolds before your very ears. The Melodic Death Metal maybe inspired by a Swedish sound, but it punches well above its weight with a heavier back end, a storm of riffs and leads from start to finish. Former Soilwork guitarist Peter Wichers appears on “In The Shallow Light“, a track with a distinctive early 2000’s Metalcore sound rooted in Death Metal. The clean vocal parts and play on melody within the groove of the heavier guitar work give a balance that breaks up the relentless kit work and when the solo hits… you’re left wondering why Dummer isn’t touring the World at this point as a virtuoso player in his own right. The fretboard must be smoking with some of this guitar work…

…the final third of the album starts with the album title track “Embodiment of The Divine“, one of the pre-release singles and the second of the two back to back tracks to feature Peter Wichers. The technical nature of the guitar work delivered at breakneck pace is surprisingly reminiscent of Rings of Saturn and their duo Joel Omans and Lucas Mann and by the time the title track reaches it’s conclusion, you might be wondering what you just heard, it’s that good. An obvious choice for a track here is Lee McKinney of Born of Osiris fame and he gets his time on “Infinite Mutation“, which has some Progressive leanings and an astral quality to it as it plays out with a beauty, depth and complexity that is simply astounding. Blast beats in the final third with some rapid fire Death Metal riffs flips the script on a dime with every piece of experimentation turning to gold. There is no space on this album for any form of filer track and the quality of the material keeps going into the closing cut “The Wonder and Terror of Fortune“. The clean vocals add to the epic nature of this beast and it is a fast flowing river that reaches the sea after going over some beautiful waterfalls. Each guest brings something unique to the table but the table is very much that of Josh Dummer, he’s clearly put his life and soul into these songs and it shows [9/10]

Track Listing:

1. The Burning Remnants (6:00) ft. guests Dean Arnold (Operus, ex-Vital Remains)
2. Overlord (5:38) ft. guest Andy Gillion (Mors Principium Est)
3. Master Psychosis (4:02) ft. guests Benjamin Ellis (Scar Symmetry), Ryan Strain (Chaos For The Masses)
4. Scales of Queen Dragon (4:19) ft. guests Andy Gillion (Mors Principium Est)
5. Silver Tongue (6:35) ft. guests Bob Katsionis (ex-Firewind), Dean Arnold (Operus, ex-Vital Remains)
6. In The Shallow Light (4:54) ft. guests Peter Wichers (ex-Soilwork), Ryan Strain (Chaos For The Masses)
7. Embodiment of The Divine (4:41) ft. guests Benjamin Ellis (Scar Symmetry), Peter Wichers (ex-Soilwork)
8. Infinite Mutation (7:36) ft. guests Lee McKinney (Born of Osiris), Ryan Strain (Chaos For The Masses)
9. The Wonder and Terror of Fortune (5:05) ft. guests Rafael Trujillo (ex-Obscura), Ryan Strain (Chaos For The Masses)

Embodiment of The Divine” by Buried Realm is out 24th July and is available for pre-order here.

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