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The History Of Death & Burial Rituals Part II

Slovakia Country of Origin: Slovakia

The History Of Death & Burial Rituals Part II
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Buy on: Bandcamp
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: November 24th, 2018
Genre: Black, Death
2. Tibet - Sky Burial
3. Scandinavia - Ship Burial
4. New Zealand - Mongrel Mob
5. Egypt - Pharaohs
6. Indonesia - Tana Toraja
7. Czech Republic - Ossuary
8. Japan - The Sea Of Silent Trees

Review by Felix on May 28, 2023.

A question: do people die twice in the Czech Republic? I just ask because this country is the only one that is considered on part 1 and part 2 of “The History of Death and Burial Rituals”. But honestly speaking, I don’t think so. I suspect much more that Death Karma are patriots with an affinity for death. Not only this, they are competent musicians and composers as well. Given this fact, let us breathe in the sombre sounds in this world before we have to listen to them in the hereafter.

Haiti is the first station on our journey which we dedicate to death in all its facets. “Voodoo” gives orientation, because its mid-harsh, percussive mid-tempo approach and the raw, throaty vocals will accompany us on the whole tour. The same goes for the guitars that deliver expressive melodies. “Voodoo” also houses a few repetitive parts that create a meditative mood, an element that can also be found in their song about the Tibetan “Sky Burial”. Its “om mani padme hum” mantra gives you the opportunity to let your mind wander. Apart from this section, the song celebrates pretty excessive, dynamic and comparatively fast instrumental parts, but there are also eerie, harmonious sections in which death wraps a warm cloak around the listener for his final journey. No doubt, these two songs set the bar high for the remaining tracks.

“The History of Death and Burial Rituals Part II” is a work that follows a holistic concept. It’s not only music that has (mostly) a fascinating touch. In view of their cultural background, the lyrics add value to the songs, too. But it is also interesting to get a song without lyrics. The instrumental, multi-layered closer leads us to Japan and forces you to do your own research. As far as I can see, it is dedicated to Aokigahara, the suicide forest of the country. What a lot there is, you can only marvel at it. Anyway, the full, voluminous and pretty warm production marks another positive component and the same applies for the carefully designed booklet.

Death Karma usually avoid brutal sounds, only during their stopover in New Zealand they get quite angry. Well, we learn that violence is not the band’s core competence. “M.M.M.” is okay, but definitely not among the highlights. Therefore I am happy as soon as we can set sail towards Egypt. Its representative has some (great) harsh parts as well, but its most intriguing detail is the soft melody at the end. It seems as if the “Pharaohs” were caressed to death. Who wants to do this job for me when my time has come?

The music of Death Karma does not lack the odd element that is wide spread in the metallic landscapes of Czech Republic and Slovakia. Master’s Hammer or Malokarpatan send greetings from the distance, but Cult of Fire are the true spiritual brothers of Death Karma. However, I probably can't really speak of brothers; the same musicians are at work here and there. It doesn’t matter. This second part slightly weaker than the first one, but a couple of songs are more or less as good as those of the first full-length. The album’s only serious shortcoming is that it doesn’t convey a desire to die – fortunately.

Rating:7.8 out of 10