Written by Carcassbomb
- Live Burial
- Unending Futility
- Old School Death Metal
- United Kingdom
- April 3, 2020
- Via Transcending Obscurity
For once I’m not just reviewing this because it’s on Transcending Obscurity, this album also features the artwork of Luke Oram (Slugdge, Firelink) who I’ve covered so much that he earned his very own category on Noob Heavy. Why? Because he’s criminally underrated and deserves way more exposure for how prolific he is in the metal scene. From what I understand, Live Burial themselves are quite close to Luke over there in the UK. So it’s all wrapped up in my favorite things, but is Unending Futility any good? Yes! It’s very good, it’s quite a memorable old school death metal release.
That opening bass line, immediate stinkface. This is how you open a death metal album, you don’t quite give away the most crushing riffs at first, instead you build up to it with some progressive guitars. This sound is very much inspired by Death, with the vocals being quite similar in tone to Chuck’s and the guitars too. It’s so damn good though, they did a great job of making a new album out of the old school sound.
One of my favorite things about the old guard of death metal is how active the bassist is and how prominent in the mix they are, this album carries this ideal on strongly. I love the idea of getting the bassist to play a riff the guitar was playing but without the guitarist, it really shines and adds another dimension to the sound. It’s a fantastic way to reprise a riff or create a mini breakdown. The bass in general moves super smoothly across this album and is the overall highlight for me, so if you’re into bass I’d consider this one essential listening. I like the way the guitars play out too, when it’s riffs they both hit the same and when higher melodies are called for, the lead will pop out on it’s own but without being overbearing.
The mixing and mastering do a huge service to Unending Futility, all of the instruments sit exactly where you’d want them. The high lead guitar and the lower rhythm guitar create a constant flow of of riffs and melodies that sound like one big coherent sound. The bass is more forward than a lot of albums, because as I said, it has a lot to say. The vocals, naturally are very prominent. The drums seem to hang out just head of the guitars with punchy jabs but softer fills. It’s an interesting album to listen to, it has a consistent level of quality that never wavers because it all just sounds really good. At worst there’s some parts of a track or two where I zone out and wait for something bigger to happen.
The songwriting is solid, they start up with the kind of energy that makes you turn to the stereo and say “This is my song!”. They always capitalise on their sounds, nothing feels wasted or lacking in direction, there’s a maximum impact achieved that separates the good death metal from the average. Even if you think you’re sick of OSDM at this point, Live Burial will snag your interest.