Album Review :
The Burial - The Winepress

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Band: The Burial
Title: The Winepress
Label: Strike First Records
Release Date: August 17, 2010
Review By: Steve
Track Listing:
1. Intercessor
2. Demons Never Sleep
3. The Winepress
4. Reconciliation
5. Valley of Decision
6. Delegation of the Seven Plagues
7. Monolith
8. Death Conquered

This is one of the reviews I have been looking forward to writing for a long time. I bought The Burial’s first EP Age of Deceit on Sancrosanct Records early in 2009 after reading about them on IVM, and man was it a good EP (Scott L. reviewed the EP here)! So it is no surprise to me that Strike First Records was quick to snatch these guys up. Since the EP, there have been a few lineup changes. Exit vocalist Lukas and guitarist Jamey and enter new vocalist and guitarist David and Jeff. This five-piece metal band out of South Bend, IN is set to release their first full-length that is sure to impress and win new fans.

It has been mentioned several times by myself and other IVM reviewers that one of the hardest things a band can do is change their vocalist and still survive. While I loved Lukas on the Age of Deceit EP, I think David was the right person to take over for The Burial. David’s raw vocals add a bit more passion and intensity to The Burial. As with most if not all Facedown/Strike First bands you can feel the love and passion for Christ drip from your speakers. You will get nothing less from The Burial.

One thing that is abundantly clear on The Winepress is the increased technicality of the album. Along with the technicality, the whole album is produced better and is more brutal than their previous work. I believe the improved musicianship and quality of this album is a testament of how good and hardworking The Burial is and can be.

The songs on this album are all pretty amazing. There is even an instrumental (“Valley of Decision”) on the album that I like and I usually do not like instrumentals. My favorite two songs on the album are “The Winepress” and “Monolith.” Both of these songs best exhibit the steps forward The Burial has made in brutal vocals, technicality, and overall song writing. “The Winepress” talks about the coming judgment of Christ at the end of the world. Halfway through “The Winepress” there is a short pause in the brutality and then it kicks back in with a little more “umph” and David screams, “Treading of the winepress/ Blood to the horses’ bridle/ The wrath of God fully revealed/ His robes are stained with the lives of the wicked/ The day of judgment in His heart/ The day of redemption has finally come/ He’ll trample the nations in His anger/ He’ll pour their blood onto the ground/ Again they cried alleluia praise His name/ Our lives are in Your hands, O Merciful God/ Again they cried alleluia praise His name” I can picture myself at one of their shows and the crowd just going nuts once The Burial kicks back in after that pause. “Monolith” continues on with the end of the world theme talking about what will happen to us without the redemption of Christ. I love how The Burial ends this song with, “We cry out for liberation from our own creation/ Redemption is what we seek/ Redemption is what we seek from You/ Her whispers resonate in my mind/ But the wedding supper of the Lamb is all I see/ MYSTERY/ BABYLON THE GREAT/ MOTHER OF WHORES/ These words will be our graves if we do not rise from our transgressions/ Lord, place a hatred so intense in our hearts for this calamity/ Hell be damned.” I respect that they use deeper meanings in their lyrics instead of cookie cutter lyrics with only vague reference to any kind of spirituality.

The only complaint I have about the album is that it is really short with only eight tracks and one of those is an instrumental; however, that does not take away from the quality of what is on the eight tracks. I also would like to say that the album artwork is extremely good and is probably one of my favorite album covers this year.

Overall: The Winepress is an excellent album that should be in any metal fan’s album collection. The raw vocals, intense brutality, and technicality are a welcome addition to an oversaturated genre. This album will definitely be in constant rotation on my iPod for the foreseeable future. I suggest that every metal fan should check these guys out and support their music and ministry.