Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Embalmer "Emanations from the Crypt" 2016 Hells Headbangers Records

It's been quite a while since we had a full length offering from Cleveland's death metal powerhouse Embalmer. To quote lead singer Paul Gorefiend, "We went back to the basics and drew influence from the original Into the Oven and There Was Blood Everywhere eras musically, peppered in some extra Terrorizer/Autopsy influences, added some crazed Deranged Rated-X-style riffing over the top, and backed it all against the blasting, non-triggered drum assault Roy has become known for." Well, they definitely pulled it off, and this album is incredibly strong from start to finish, with no weak material whatsoever. Opener "Dead Female Stalker" sets the tone here, and it crushes all in its path. This is a bulldozer of an album and it seethes with destructive personality, having the same unpredictable manic energy as most of the old school death metal that I love so much. It's such an honest record, and it's so clear that fans of this style of music made it. It has everything I want in a death metal record and everything hearkens back to the early days of the band, reminding me a lot of the material on There Was Blood Everywhere, which is a personal favorite of mine. This incarnation of the band is clearly musically skilled as well, but they keep things real, not resorting to the false tricks of the slick, glossy, popular bands of today that only claim to play death metal. Everything here is gore-fueled, nasty, filthy, violent, and carefully controlled at the same time. It's going to appeal to old school death metal fans, as well as devotees of brutal death metal, and fans of black/death along the lines of Blasphemy or Black Witchery. I cannot stress enough that this is a return to form, and a welcome one. I never cared very much for 13 Faces of Death and I am glad the band decided to go in this direction. I will be playing this one again and again and again, and it will hold an exalted position in my collection. It's times like this, when I hear an album this good that comes out of the Cleveland scene, that I feel lucky to be involved.