Album Review: Burned In Effigy - Rex Mortem
Scrolling through various new album releases, one thing that is always going to capture my attention is ‘Melodic Death Metal;’ hello, yes please and thank you very much. However, a description such as ‘Neoclassical Melodic Death Metal’ grabs my attention with such force that it causes whiplash.
For clarity, Neoclassicism was a Western cultural movement in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music and architecture that drew inspiration from the art and culture of classical antiquity. So basically, old historic stuff. Yes, not only am I a metal nerd, I’m also a history nerd and unapologetically so.
Anyway, I digress as this is a new album review and not a history blog. Hailing from Chicago, Burned In Effigy have blasted the last of what January 2022 has to offer straight out of the water and in to orbit. Originally starting out as an instrumental quartet, they released their 6 track EP ‘Terrestrial’ back in 2017 which is a beautiful piece in itself however they changed things up drastically by bringing vocalist Mark ‘Smedy’ Smedbron into the fold.
The band have went on record to say:
“The vocals are gritty and tense, inspired by mythology, history and classic literature. Many of the songs follow the story of a tyrannical King aiming to expand his power and influence, who ends up being brought down by his closest allies.”
Rex Mortem is Burned In Effigy‘s first full length album consisting of 8 solid tracks spanning 32 minutes long collectively. This record is straight to the point, brutally beautiful, effortlessly ruthless and an incredibly fun listen. ‘Doomsayer,’ ‘Artorias’ and ‘Nightfall’ consist of chunky riffs, solos galore, rapid drumming and frequently alternates between classic death metal growls and more black metal-esque shrieks
‘The Empericist‘ is, in my opinion, the most technical track of the record with progressive elements, intricate guitarwork and dextrous solos. It stands out at the midway point of the record, focusing more on technical ability and time signatures rather than brutal death metal. However the record is brought back full circle with ‘Hades.’ This track is one of my favourites of the record, opening with an epically brutal death metal roar, fast paced drumming, chugging riffs and a surprisingly upbeat Omnium Gatherum-esque guitar solo.
Despite being a self-released record, the level of production and professionalism from such a young band cannot be questioned and is absolutely mind-blowing. I completely vibed with this record and give it a solid 8/10.
Released By: Self
Release Date: 28th January 2022
For Fans Of: The Black Dahlia Murder, Rotting Christ, Omnium Gatherum
Favourite Track(s): Artorias, Hades, Atlas