Coffins are the type of metal band who honor their multiple inspirations to the best possible extent -- they're fully inculcated in an approach and sound, as the album and song titles make perfectly clear, not to mention the album art, but they recombine them in a way to make their own mark where possible. On their second incarnation's second album, Buried Death, the overwhelming sound from their many '80s and early-'90s forebears -- ranging from Justin Broadrick's Godflesh-era guttural grunts, definitely a holdover from the group's earlier work, to high-speed death metal -- continues the pattern started on Mortuary in Darkness. The same lineup of Uchino, You, and Koreeda is in place, and if Buried Death is an extension of the earlier album then it's a brilliantly done one, with the sheer thickness of Uchino's guitars ranking as some of the best-sounding riffs out there. It doesn't hurt, either, that You's drumming, though often high-speed enough for early Carcass (another clear model, especially in the occasional vocal exchanges between Uchino and Koreeda), actually has a full-bodied impact instead of a skittering rampage. All this is arguably the counterweight to the fact that Coffins are working clearly within a wide-ranging style rather than extending it, but this is still the best kind of tribute -- the one that leaves an individual mark. So if the tempo changes on songs like "Cadaver Blood" are familiar elements, the weird guitar effects on "The Frozen Styx" give a sense of what the band can bring to the mix in turn. A definite highlight is "Altars of Gore," with Uchino's riff being the kind of strutting kick, well matched by the rhythm section, more appropriate to Motörhead than many later bands could manage, but still with the deep vocal rumble heard throughout the album.
|Label:||20 Buck Spin|