The record I'm about to review is one the best, if not the best, Death Metal albums played without blast beats. RESURRECTION's "Embalmed Existence" is simply put a gem for those who like Death Metal. I have to admit that many Death Metal bands of today bore me, not all of course, but enough to make me look for some of those old records I have in my collection. Old is of course a bit of an exaggeration when we talk about music that's been out for 12 years, but compared to the life span of the whole genre itself it must be considered relatively old. What's damn sure, however, is its pure class.
The tone is set from the first second, an intro with a purpose for once. Every song on "Embalmed Existence" has an intro, except "Pure Be Damned" that is. Let me quote the intro for the song called "Rage Within". "I rest in my home, eating human waste and drinking the urine from my dog. I feel insane when I do this, but I like it". Some tongue in cheek humour there for sure. Every one of the intros is an excellent one, in that respect that they actually raise the quality of the album, that's extraordinary. What's even better is that after every one of these short intros follows Death Metal excellence. RESURRECTION have even managed to make a KISS song sound fucking excellent, that being the album closer "War Machine", talk about turning shit into gold.
Pummelling bass drums, excellent riffing, varied tacts, brilliant solos, I could sit here all day listing superlatives for "Embalmed Existence". When it comes to technical skills the guys in RESURRECTION would be at the top of the heap even today. Not that "Embalmed Existence" is a show off album containing guitar wanking and oddity just for the sake of it, just like DEATH they understood that quality songs are what counts in the end, letting the songs breathe, or letting the Metal flow as some would have put it. In "Torture Chamber" the Metal is flowing like the Nile after a flooding. It starts out with some morbid guitar harmonies before the double bass drums kick in and at the same time the guitars start the riffing. It starts out in an upbeat tempo, but before long it slows down with the entrance of the vocalist, who is doing a vocal type right in the middle of the Black and Death variant, use ANGEL CORPSE (great band) as a reference point of what to expect vocally. The song keeps shifting gears and thanks to an excellent drummer there are plenty of exciting fills and tacts. I would easily rank Alex Marquez at the same level as Dave Lombardo (SLAYER, GRIP INC, FANTOMAS, etc.), at least when the calendar showed 1993. For all I know Alex Marguez could be without arms and legs today, leaving Dave Lombardo the winner with his full set of limbs.
"Embalmed Existence" was recorded in the Morrisound Studio, a studio which should be familiar for all those who've followed Death Metal for a while. Scott Burns is another name that should sound familiar for most Death Metal fans, though this time Scott Burns only co-produced the album, along with the band itself. Markus Staiger is listed as the executive producer, today better known as the President of Nuclear Blast (quite pompous if I might say so). One thing’s for sure, the sound couldn't have fitted better, it's crystal clear were it needs to be, like on the solos and a bit dirtier when required. I'll continue with some more name dropping and this time it's Dan Seagrave's name that's being dropped into the hat. Dan Seagrave is a well known and well used cover art maker in the world of Death Metal. The last job he did, at least as far my knowledge reaches, is the cover art for DISMEMBER's, "Where Ironcrosses Grow".
I shall not turn sentimental and claim that everything was better before, as "Embalmed Existence" was head above most of what came out in 1993 as well. Like PESTILENCE's "Testimony Of The Ancients", among others, time has no other effect on "Embalmed Existence" than making it sound better. "Embalmed Existence" is one of the reasons Death Metal always will be closer to my heart than Black Metal, after all black is just a colour. (Online September 16, 2005)