Cemetery Urn - The Conquered Are Burned
Death Metal
8 songs (37:04)
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Vrechek

In a way, reviewing the first album you've heard by a band is far easier than reviewing a follow-up. Either it is their debut album in which case you can make patronizing comments like: “This sounds like bands X Y and Z” and “Not the greatest album ever but good for such a new band” and “I'll be keeping an eye out for their next release,” or it is a new release by an established band you have heard nothing from before, in which case you admit as such and are off the hook. Follow-ups though, are quite tricky. Not only are you judging a band on their own merits, but you are also comparing and contrasting to their previous work.

As such, it is quite difficult for me to make up my mind about Cemetery Urn's new album The Conquered Are Burned, especially when the changes between this and their 2007 debut Urn of Blood are so subtle. Right when the first track, Deaths Turbulent Fire hits your ears you'll notice the biggest change: the production. The bass sound is still filthy and low, but with a different, grainier quality than the cavernous and grimy style from Urn of Blood. All the instruments are leveled out in a way, which while making everything blend together smoothly also takes away some of the individuality of the first album. The schizophrenic, thrashy solos aren't as loud and intrusive, the bass is less audible and noteworthy, and the vocals tend to blend in with the gritty guitar tone. Coupled with a tracklist of songs that range from occasionally slow to mostly mid-paced rhythmically catchy riffing to some blast-happy fast insanity and nothing in the way of breaks, The Conquered Are Burned can be a tiring listen.

That being said, each of the songs taken individually are quite good, chock full to the brim with Brutal Death Metal riffing, technical and horns-raising solos, and just plain evil vocals. While I rarely mention drums in my reviews since they are typically taken for granted to be decent, I will break form by saying that something about the drumming gets my head a-banging quite often. While not all that complex, there's a martial and war-like quality about the beats and fills that makes them stick out in a good way and complement the riffs nicely.

When all is said and done, just how good is this album compared to Urn of Blood? Even now I'm hesitant to say it is definitively better or worse; I will have to leave it up to each individual listener to decide. To me it feels like both a step forward in terms of song writing and structure, but a step back in terms of production and pacing. Clocking in at about 20% longer than Cemetery Urn's first album, and with much less in the way of breathing room, The Conquered Are Burned can be a tough listen for anyone who doesn't absolutely adore Death Metal in all its inaccessible glory. That being said, I still prefer this to their debut for more intangible reasons despite its faults. I can't justify giving it a higher score than Urn of Blood, but I give my wholehearted recommendation to fans of this band's work as well as those looking for a more classic spin to the Death Metal genre to at least give it a few listens.

Killing Songs :
Deaths Turbulent Fire, Wrath from The Grave, A Cemeterial Reaping (Part I & II)
Vrechek quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Cemetery Urn that we have reviewed:
Cemetery Urn - Urn of Blood reviewed by Vrechek and quoted 89 / 100
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There are 1 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:54 am
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