By now, CEMETERY URN should need no introduction. A staple of the Australian extreme metal scene, for over a decade now, the band have been a study in staunch self-reliance, self-booking two highly successful tours across the United States as well as releasing their first two albums on their own Cemetery Recordings. Although HELLS HEADBANGERS would release those first two albums - 2008's "Urn of Blood" and 2010's "The Conquered Are Burned" - on vinyl in 2011, CEMETERY URN's spirt is fiercely independent. Not to mention that they've a deep history in that Australian extreme metal scene: founding guitarist and songwriter Andrew Gillon also hails from reactivated Aussie barbarians ABOMINATOR, and previously played in the final lineup of BESTIAL WARLUST; original vocalist Damon Bloodstorm was renowned as the frontman for BESTIAL WARLUST and for ABOMINATOR from 1996-2001; and drummer Matt Crossingham, who's played with such bands as Belligerent Intent, Scars of Sodom, and Draconis Infernum.
Following up the momentum created by last year's poised 'n' powerful "Cemetery Urn," CEMETERY URN strike with arguably their most vicious record yet. Ever aptly titled, "Barbaric Retribution" indeed makes good on the band's self-branded "Australian Barbaric Death Metal" tag, taking the martial foundation of their earlier work and locating a blood-red-raw humidity which makes their incendiary maelstrom all the more overwhelming. CEMETERY URN have never been short on powerful production - always, a balance between crush and clarity is sought - but "Barbaric Retribution," perhaps due to its take-no-prisoners title, pushes the intensity to near-suffocating levels. But within that unremitting savagery lurks a greater number of doomed-out down-tempo twists and some truly demonic soloing, all ever suggestive of the very literal Armageddon at the heart of their aesthetic. Above all, "Barbaric Retribution" truly proves that unrelenting intensity and top-shelf songwriting need not be mutually exclusive terms - or, more to the point, that "Barbaric Retribution" is indeed "Barbaric Retribution"!