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Dunderbeist - Songs of the Buried (Indie Recordings)

By: Greg Lenzo

[8.5/10] Coming completely out of left field, Norway’s blackened rock outfit Dunderbeist have released a collection of rip-roarin’ tunes that, to these ears, sound like a pretty bold statement. It’s a record coming from a group of musicians that clearly have no regard for what’s “in” or not (has bluesy, blackened rock ever really been “in?”), and who focus instead on pooling their influences together to churn out some of the most original and energetic material of the year.

As mentioned above, Songs of the Buried is essentially a rock record, and a very eccentric one at that. Clean vocals dominate, and there’s a notable absence of blast beats, tremolo picking and a host of other over-explored techniques that the metal community consider to be “heavy.” But there’s no doubting the quality and irresistible charm of this stuff- from the first strains of the whiskey-voiced acoustic intro “Y,” the whole album crackles with an urgently mischievous energy.

There’s a wonderful bluesy swagger present through each song, a sound that lends itself to the band’s penchant for bouncy and super-catchy hooks. And while Songs for the most part avoids sounds of the “br00tal” variety, the album still has plenty of crunch and bite, and most importantly, groove (see: the opening riff of “Acheron” and the speedy 6/8 feel of “Centuries,” just to name a couple).

Overall, this album is just a ton of fun; unique, attitude-ridden, blackened bluesy rock with incredible hooks, groovy riffs, and some tasty lead guitar licks thrown in to boot. It’s nice to hear something that isn’t entirely drawn from the tech-death/thrash/djent template that accounts for 90% of today’s active bands. Even more than that, Songs of the Buried recalls the days when metalheads were still concerned about actually carrying a tune, rather than always hootin’ and hollerin’ with those darned cookie monster vocals. Just kidding (mostly). All sarcasm aside, Dunderbeist have put out a real winner here that is definitely worth investigating.

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