When it comes to tortured, pained vocals, few do it quite like Dave Suzuki. The Churchburn front man led a cacophony of grimy, cavernous chaos on Genocidal Rite (Translation Loss) , a Death-Doom doozy from the Rhode Island-based foursome. With live musical performances on their minds (and who could blame them?), the group opens with ‘Toll Of Annihilation,’ a staticky and distorted affair that builds up before coming down via creepy bells sounding.
Drummer Ray McCaffrey provides the groove and expertly placed yet not too powerful double bass on ‘Swallowed By Dust.’ Apart from sounding like a horrible way to go, the song is full of eerie-sounding electronics and muffled noises, mimicking what it must be like to actually find oneself trapped in a sandstorm.
McCaffrey is also mint on ‘Scarred’ before a solemn acoustic guitar rears its head. A droning guitar wails in the background and then Timmy St. Amour is off to the races, erupting into a solo, making his presence felt.
The title track calls for Suzuki’s larynx-frying vocals from deep inside a dungeon of hell, a La atmospheric black metal. McCaffrey is again there to flood the scene with intricate percussion and the sludge is real with the thick accompanying riffs.
Churchburn signs off with ‘Sin Of Angels’ which conjures up images of bombs dropping and artillery striking. Fitting. But the real showstopper is ‘Unmendable Absence.’ An instrumental, a (Spanish?) guitar introduces the track before a tantalizing, melancholic atmosphere blankets the listener in both misery and contentment. Minimalistic in the best way, the band absolutely put in their greatest performance on the entire album.
It plays a perfect role as a lead-in, but also is something Churchburn must create more of. Not always easy to pull off given the genre, they crushed it. Neither too long nor too complicated, it sits perfectly within the confines of Genocidal Rite.
Buy the album here: https://churchburntl.bandcamp.com/
7 / 10