Embalmer - Embalmed Alive

Extreme metal started out in the 80s as an extreme form of music expression. Its aggressiveness, heaviness and lyrical approach were unearthly. At that time extreme metal genres were not divided. Most of the times they were united under the labels "thrash metal" or "speed metal". Death metal appeared with bands like Possessed, Slayer and Hellhammer who decided to take sickness further. The death metal genre featured guttural vocals on themes like sickness and death and damnation, and added doom passages in the music like Autopsy used to enhance the sickness.

At these times less technologies were different. Minimal studio facilities meant better players. Many bands were also recording live or with minimum technological intervention due to studios being expensive (having a home studio at the time was only a sport for really rich people). That's why a live feeling is present most of the times throughout in old recordings.

Nowadays home studios and the increased technological improvement allow recording even riff by riff or note by note. That's not necessarily bad, but as in every thing overdoing it is. So, technology has become a reason for today's degradation in terms of production and a reason why many of today's releases sound plastic. Embalmer entered Brainchild Studios in 2017 and, throwing a stone at the face of today's recording ways, they recorded their new album watching the blood running free. All tracks on "Embalmed Alive" were recorded live all the way through, with no studio magic, triggers, or edits. A rather bold move, but at the same time a move showing the bands devotion to the roots of the music genre they serve.

Hells Headbangers wisely decided to release this album on CD because the result is magnificent. Milliseconds after pushing the "play" button, a time capsule will travel you back to the late 80's early 90's to show you exactly how it was done in the first days. The swampy sound is not a production mistake. On the contrary, it makes the album even more evil and unholy in the ways the early incantation and autopsy stuff are.
I immediately loved the sound!

As for the performance... Embalmer need no introductions. Those in death metal know well the name of the Americans since the year 1990. They released a bunch of demos during the glorious early days of death metal just to split up after their legendary "There Was Blood Everywhere" EP a highly underrated gem, a hidden diamond of death metal. All Embalmer early material is classic, gained a cult status over the years and is highly sought after.

Embalmer have always been well known for the ferocity, rawness and passion of their live shows since 1990. Many bootlegs do circulate in proof. In my opinion it was a wise choice not to just pick one of them and release it but enter the studio again to record live old classics. With this move the band gives respect to their fans, they show how tight they are as a band, they prove they are high skilled players, and they give the listener a hint of what to expect in their live shows; total devastating death!

Another asset of this release is that it serves as a best of compilation. On "Embalmed Alive" you will get 15 tracks spanning Embalmer's entire career, representing a typical Embalmer headlining setlist. The sequence of the songs is excellent, the choices are perfect and if played in the right sound system, the live feel in increased. Of course this is a live studio recording so you won't listen to the crowd, which is another positive thing for me. Included are studio-quality versions of two songs from 1992 ('Taxidermist' and 'Projectile Vomit') that never got a proper official release.
Everything in the album is well played, recorded and produced.

The only remaining member from the original line up is drummer Roy Stewart, but believe me the band offers fire to hell! Brian Baxter on guitars (Regurgitation, ex-Pathology, ex-Necrotic Disgorgement, ex-Heinous Killings, ex-Gorgasm among others) is huge death metal guitar player and his performance is beyond great. Dylan Gordon (guitar) and Paul Gorefiend (vocals) bandmates also in Kurnugia and Joe Wunderle (bass) ex-Madness on the Mountaintop form an excellent quintet.

Fans of Incantation, Autopsy, Coffins, Anatomia, Dead Congregation and all 90's death metal maniacs, you won't regret buying this live in the studio best of album from one of the most legendary death metal bands.

A brand-new Embalmer studio album is to be expected later this year on Hells Headbangers! Watch out because there will be still blood everywhere! Until then bang your head to classics like 'May The Wounds Bleed Forever', 'Taxidermist', 'Morbid Confessions', 'Bone Box' or the newer but sick to the core 'The Cascet Calls'. Buy or die!

1. May The Wounds Bleed Forever
2. I Am The Embalmer
3. Bone Box
4. Taxidermist
5. Morbid Confessions
6. There Was Blood Everywhere
7. Emanations From The Crypt
8. Projectile Vomit
9. The Coroner's Report
10. The Necro Filing Cabinet
11. Procession Of Bones
12. They Can Smell Our Blood
13. Dead Female Stalker
14. Rotten Body Fluids
15. The Casket Calls