Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is home to the obnoxiously heavy Philadelphia Cheese-Steak. It’s also home to something else that is obnoxiously heavy in the form of death doom quartet Burial Fog, who have a brand new three track EP that’s just been unleashed upon world. So, it’s time to prepare yourself for the earth to shake beneath your feet as this one’s going to be hefty!
From the first notes on opener Unrest you immediately get a feel how this is going to progress. It’s big, it’s dense and it’s slower than my dial-up connection in the late nineties. Throughout the opening track it’s fairly standard death doom, one note riffs are accompanied by a spatter of drum work, whilst an ogre like vocal smothers the sound on display. The track is, as you’d expect from a death doom band, however, feels a little ordinary and missing that unique addition that separates them from other groups within the genre. Even earlier bands, like Winter or Disembowelment, had that nuance that still separates them to this day, which is where Unrest and this EP fall down.
Pummelled follows on and flows a-lot better than the opener. It starts to display some variation to the sound and adds some higher, more melodious notes, alongside the oppressively heavy, almost funeral doom-esque, sound (some might even argue it touches on the drone). The splatters of melody remind me of the heavier sections on Bell Witch’s Mirror Reaper and serve to cut through the dissonance. There’s also a section of fuzzed out bass which also helps add something different to the group’s output.
It’s big, it’s dense and it’s slower than my dial-up connection in the late nineties…
The final track Forlorn features some reverb laden interludes but follows a similar rhythm to opener Unrest and capitulates into noise to end the fifteen minute EP. Unfortunately, I can’t help feeling like there is something missing from the overall performance from Burial Fog. It might be in the drums department where I feel like there just needs to be more, even the odd fill, or tempo change could add some much needed variance, which as they stand, detract from the monstrously heavy riffs and cavernous vocals that they accompany.
There are some positive moments on this EP. As mentioned earlier Pummelled is easily the best track on the record and it’s where Burial Fog change it up and add something new. If this whole EP followed this format of just adding a little variation, a little uniqueness to their already established sound I think they would have knocked it out of Citizens Bank Park.
Scribed by: Matt Alexander