Embalmed Existence

Written by: EW on 24/05/2009 00:53:20

Rather bizarrely I had never truly come across Resurrection in my coverage of the old school American DM sound when I got into the genre, and so it has been left to a reissue of "Embalmed Existence" for their rotten presence to come to my attention. "Embalmed Existence" is being reissued by Massacre 16 years after it's original release on Nuclear Blast records - yes back in the day when they had more old school DM than you could shake a stick at, and no Nightwish-es in sight.

Hindsight is useful in the release of this album in two ways. Perhaps why this record never truly built up a reputation, apart from the fact Resurrection never followed it up with album number two (until last year), is because it was released in 1993, the year we now know as when things arguably started turning sour for death metal and metal in general, a decline that lasted until the later years of the decade. Reviewing this in 2009 I listen to an album that on the musical surface is a resolutely solid and stoically old school affair, thus sounding quite delightful to these ears. No polished production, no breakdowns nor melodic faux-pas pretenses, but DM the way it was designed and intended to be, in the classic 'Morrisound' way. However, here is hindsight example no. 2; "Embalmed Existence" would have sounded like too many other Malevolent Creations and Disincarnates of the day to be picked upon, suffering the all-too-common problem of being born too late - released in 1990 it would have been considered a minor classic and we undoubtedly have heard more from the band thereafter.

Early Malevolent Creation reigns as the primary influence on "Embalmed Existence" - "Smell Of Blood" being the strongest example of this. However as Paul Degoyler tries to clear his sore throat by growling out tomes of religious defiance and the downtuned guitars flail and hammer you into submission, each song passes by in a barrage of heads down DM that is always enjoyable live, where if you can headbang to it then each song is allowed to sound similar. As such the basic template will be garnered through the hearing of just one song, with the only notable exception being in the ghoulish storytelling accompanying all tracks but one and somewhat tying it everything into a central concept. Not that you'd notice any other way.

As for the reissue you get some extended storytelling sections that border on the comical, the usual demo versions and the most bizarre 'laugh track' I have ever heard recorded to tape (you frankly need to hear it). But as an album, "Embalmed Existence" will be enjoyed by anyone who craves DM that is old, simple, punishing and fashion-free. Yes, there are still some of us out there.

Download: Smell Of Blood, Torture Chamber
For The Fans Of: Malevolent Creation, Disincarnate, Asphyx
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 23.03.09
Massacre Records

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