The defining feature of Resurrection‘s Embalmed Existence (Nuclear Blast, 1993) was “The Storyteller.” He was essentially an amateur voice actor who assumed an insane persona to tell an insane story. Voiceovers, which in sum formed the story, began every track but one. The result was a death metal record that felt like a twisted children’s tale. Love them or hate them — Andrew from aversionline.com hated them so much that he made himself a version of the album with them edited out — the voiceovers were unique.
Now Massacre has reissued the record with even more of The Storyteller. Along with remastered (i.e., louder) sound and two demos (unessential but interesting, as songs often take different forms), the reissue includes two takes of The Storyteller’s entire story, as well as a “laugh track” (108 seconds of various flavors of “mwahaha”). The lavish liner notes feature historical photos and essays regarding the reissue, the demos, and the origin of The Storyteller. This reissue is the holy grail for his fans (are there any?).
Such distractions aside, the album is deservedly a minor classic. It might have become a major one had the band not split up after its release. Instead, it remains a sturdy memento of the Florida death metal sound — atonal, sometimes technical, without the bluesiness of its Swedish counterpart. Touches of musicality, like abstract chords and exotic solos, occasionally crop up. Alex Marquez of Malevolent Creation repute contributes lively drums. The melisma in Paul Degolyer’s growl recalls that of Obituary’s John Tardy. If Resurrection had had more time, Embalmed Existence might be mentioned today in the same sentence as Leprosy or Cause of Death.
That may yet change. The band has reunited, releasing a strong album, Mistaken for Dead, last year. It, too, features The Storyteller, though thankfully in much smaller doses. The Florida sound remains intact. In fact, the band sounds even more vicious than before — a Resurrection, indeed.