BURIED REALM – Embodiment Of The Divine

BURIED REALM – Embodiment Of The Divine

One-man bands can be hit or miss, usually on the polar extremes: either excellent or atrocious. As I’ve had experienced a little of both, I did not have high expectations for Colorado Springs, Colorado-based Josh Dummer’s melodic death metal on the debut "The Ichor Carcinoma" (2017) but I was still mildly surprised how good (but not great) it was, how Josh was able to come up with infectious melodies, especially on the fantastic In Flames-ian "Apeiron I: The Legacy", which was the single reason why I snatched this, the follow-up from the haulix for a review, this time expecting greatness. While "Embodiment Of The Divine" does not blow away, the songwriting is much improved and there’s a lot more ear candy this time around, with a more distinct verse/chorus structure and noticeably better production.

One of the major reasons why the 2nd album is better seems to be the guests appearances which enhance the music. With a single exception (title track, featuring Scar Symmetry’s Benjamin Ellis) the songs are very good, whether it’s the Byzantine opener "The Burning Remnants", Mors Principium Est-ian "Overlord" (Mors Principium Est’s Andy Gillion on extra guitar) and "Master Psychosis" (again, featuring Ellis) or the "The War Within" Shadows Falls-ey "In The Shallow Light" (with ex-Soilwork guitarist Peter Witchers). Two of them are very excellent: the progressive "Infinite Mutation" (likely due to guitar guest Born Of Osiris’ Lee McKinney) and the ridiculously catchy "Scales Of Queen Dragon" (again, graced by Gillon’s performance), the latter my favorite due to the similarity in quality to ""Apeiron I: The Legacy" from the debut. There’s plenty for you to sink your ears into.

Why not 5 or higher? Well, sometimes the songs do suffer from over-indulgence in showing off the skills with the structures taking a back seat such as in "Silver Tongue" (featuring ex-Firewind keyboardist/guitarist Bob Katsionis), or sometimes the songs are too simple, the title track the best example despite admittedly cool old school death riffing.

Superior to the debut in every respect, "Embodiment Of The Divine" shows Buried Realm evolving into a more engaging construct with Josh Dummer’s skills full on display but I think the 3rd installment will prove how great he can really be. Meanwhile give the aforementioned "Infinite Mutation" and "Scales Of Queen Dragon" a whirl and (if it were possible) call me in the morning.