Dead Beyond Buried: The Dark Era

Extreme excellence from humble Brit brutes

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Displaying a consistent mastery of atmosphere, dynamics and balls-out intensity that belies their status as grubby UK death metal underdogs, Dead Beyond Buried deserve to be rewarded for their steady evolution.

The Dark Era still bears all the traits that made the band’s previous two albums so invigorating, but this is a more focused and destructive beast that harks back to the early 90s in terms of vicious catchiness and imperious grandeur. The best death metal employs as much mid-tempo groove as it does pitiless speed, and on the likes of Dripping Black Bile and Shadows Consuming Spirits, Dead Beyond Buried deliver the former with majestic disdain, proving themselves worthy of being cited in the same breath as Hypocrisy or Immolation.

If further proof is needed that this band are a cut above, the evocative might of Cold Black Stars connects with such devastating impact and colossal, flesh-flaying hooks that it threatens to overshadow every other death metal song this year.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.