DEATH KARMA’s debut EP, A Life Not Worth Living, seemingly appeared out of nowhere in early 2013. The sound introduced by this Czech duo here was an unrelenting whirlwind of merciless battery, caustic misanthropy, and psychic abuse. The record found favor with a number of diehards worldwide, but it’s positively humbled by DEATH KARMA’s debut album, The History of Death & Burial Rituals part 1. As suggested by its grandiose title, The History of Death & Burial Rituals displays the duo in a considerably elevated state: the ambition and daring DEATH KARMA exhibit here almost sounds like an entirely different band. However, the band remains the same, and includes two members of the critically acclaimed CULT OF FIRE. Not unlike that band, DEATH KARMA here unveil a comparatively kaleidoscopic kind of black metal, bolstered by death metal muscle, surging-yet-layered songcraft, mystical melodicism, and a robust production that highlights every subtle nuance, every dynamic twist, and especially the over-spilling violence. It’s an album that not so much abandons black/death in futile favor of something “different” for its own sake, but rather attempts – and succeeds, massively – to inject bold adventure into classicist purity. With The History of Death & Burial Rituals part 1, DEATH KARMA reveal themselves to the world…and it’s just the beginning.
Vocalist/guitarist/bassist Infernal Vlad explains the concepts behind The History of Death & Burial Rituals part I: “Death is as young as humanity itself. It accompanies mankind from the very beginning, and it is an integral part of life. As the cultural differences in society have been evolving throughout the centuries, different ways of burying the deceased, as well as their worship and access to the dead, were incurring. In particular, the emergence of different religions in the world had a crucial influence on funerary rituals, historical and current, as well as on the perception of death. Many cults of death were born…
“I have always been fascinated by this topic, and that was the reason behind the conception of this work. The LP The History of Death & Burial Rituals part 1 is the first part of the musicalization of posthumous rituals and the perception of death in different cultures and countries around the world. This is my tribute to death and its great value and importance to man. In the first part of this musical book, we will deal with rituals in the following countries:
“Slovakia – ancient burial customs of superstitious and deeply religious villagers still exist in certain areas till today.
Madagascar – dance with Death, in the name of Famadihana.
Mexico – the most famous dead town which once lived though death. Enter the mouth of the ChichenItza well – where people were buried in blood.
Czech Republic- ‘UmrlÃ„Âí prkna’ provide a place for Death through the long and harsh winters, so the earth could accept the bodies in spring.
India – The Towers of Silence. Here one can feel and hear death the most.
China – Hanging coffins on high rocks so nobody disturbs the peace of the dead.”
Iron Bonehead Productions (Germany)