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This is no full-length. Sadly, this is the truth. But it also is not this important.
In about thirty minutes Vomit Church shoot nine tracks at the listener, which could not be more evil, bleak, sinister and/or insane. Again, there are only five "real" tracks, featuring one intro, outro and two interludes. But with the decreasing duration time, the mood decreases too.
Don't get me wrong, this is no bad thing. While listening, you are more and more embedded in the embracingly negative emotions carried. Death, blasphemy, hatred, anger and a great cup of fear and insanity are added to a fractious music.
Many changes in speed and vocals make sure it does not get boring. The speed varies from maximum to rather mid-tempo, but all the structures of the songs can be followed well, which might be an advantage of the short duration of the songs, so it might be good, that Vomit Church did not try to write so called "epic" songs and ruined everything.
Technichally, there is no possibility to complain, according to my ears. Everything is played neatly, drums, guitars and vocals harmonize. The bass cannot be heard over long distances, but this is no weak spot. The sound does not need it, anyway. The raw yet clear production transports a lot of evilness, which could have been destroyed, if done wrongly.
The vocals range from high regions to rather dark coloured and they fit perfectly to each special song. Sometimes they are placed above all riffing structures, so an evil and arrogantly elevated spawn of inescapable death is created, sometimes they are combined with the music and come across as a poisoned swamp-beast, carrying indescribable tortures. Overwhelming, even though Vomit Church are not the first ones to have such vocals.
Well, well, the ideas are not this new, anyway, but no plagiarism. This seems to be the only point of criticism to me, Vomit Church do have to improve their songwriting a bit, from very good and solid to inimitable. Let us wait for upcoming releases.
Before I forget - the interludes are no standard semi-evil soundcollages. Just take "Feel The Demon" as an example. The last time I have heard this insane, fearful and tormented screams was on "Blandt Grå Monumenter" by the great-great Sortsind (RIP). Also, everytime the choir is inserted, my bones freeze and make me shiver. I am impressed, as you can see.
Looking back there are two small points of criticism. At first, you can consider this one as an EP, if you want, even though you are left mangled as on a full-length, and there are many albums of the same genre which could not have this effect. Secondly, the ideas could increase. Slightly.
I am sure, if there comes a full length, which deserves the name, with increased ideas, the result will be perfect and shut up those, who always complain about the simplicity of "raw" Black Metal.
25 minutes is this album long and each second is a really intense listening. Even though two interludes are present on this album, which together with the intro and outro reduce the total number of ‘real’ songs on this album to merely five, the sick and disturbing atmosphere is never totally breached and is able to long until the very end of the last song. Despite the whole amount of non-metal songs, they fit into the context of the album and enrich it in a strange way… but more of that later.
Each song comes in some sense with a new vocal style (from screams to murmur-like) and also in terms of the arrangement of the songs; the band tries hard to offer the listener a great variety of different approaches on how to compose raw Black Metal. Despite the larger amount of repetition in respect to riffs and the rather simplistic structure of the songs, the quality of the riffs is able to plaster this to a good deal, though. Also in terms of the tempo Vomit Church does not stick to one style only. While Drink The Vomit Of Doom and Enemies Of The Cross are mostly fast played in their approach, are The Lamb And The Wolf and Let The Flames Reach Higher more complex and offer also some slower parts and are progressing into fast ones; perhaps the length of a track should/could be used as an indicator. The emphasis though lies on the faster and aggressive played Black Metal, but not in the sense that it is entirely dominated by double-bass drums.
Important are the interludes respectively the ‘non-metal’ parts; four out of nine songs fall into that category. While the intro as well as the fourth track, The Omen, rather apply in often used chant-like fragments that tend to make up an essential part of the music of some bands in the Black Metal scene, the sixth track is different in every respect. It has become quite common to use female orgasmic screams together with the music or to put it in a separate track; like Stielas Storhett has done it on ‘Vandrer...’ for instance. Vomit Church has done something different on their debut. The title of the track might already give some hint on what to expect: Feel the Demon. Yes, here are screams offered of someone pretending to be possessed by a demon and is expressing it in the way one might believe a person might behave under such circumstances. I have to admit that beside the really extreme way, in which this was performed, it works not only but it is actually listenable. In contrast to the orgasmic sound for whatever reasons, I never have the feeling that it would fit into the dark atmosphere of the music, whereas this violent of screaming supports the atmosphere which predominates the album.
Whilst the quality of the music is undoubtedly on an average level and the band is able to create a dense and dark atmosphere on this album, there is some slight decrease in the quality towards the end of the record. This is close connected with the vocals and their strange way of distortion. They have turned to something like a murmur of which hardly any phrases can be understood. Beyond their audible perception, their decline in appearance on the songs does also have a negative effect on them. Vice versa is a song like Let The Flames Reach Higher turned in to a semi-instrumental, whereby the instruments have to compensate the absence of the vocals and fail due to their repetitive and simplistic design. Furthermore is the short length of the album, especially when considering the existence of four ‘filling’ tracks, not an aspect in favour of the band. 25 minutes pass by very soon, when the music with such an intense atmosphere is listened to. What an impact more complex song-structures or less repetitiveness would have on the songs is hard to say, yet due to the problems which occur in terms of the vocals now and then; perhaps precautions should be taken in order to prevent this from happening in the first place.
Left aside all the criticism, the debut album of Vomit Church is a quite good one. As this band is a collaboration of Greeks and Mexicans it might be nice to know what was brought into the band by whom and if there is an element which can be closely assigned to one of the participating cultures. It should be interesting to see how a further album might sound like and what differences might there to the preceding one. A promising start.
Performance: Raw Black Metal with a good deal of sick and dirty atmosphere.
Production: Quite good, there is little to complain about.
Song-writing: Simplistic with a lot of repetition of the riffs and structures, their quality is good, though.
Annoying: album is quite short, vocal performance could have been better, amount of interludes.
Booklet: 4 pages, minimalist information, no lyrics.
Length: 25 minutes; bought it at a low price, therefore is my price-performance-ration was good