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Holy crap! Why hasn’t anyone told me before that death metal can be so damn brutal and catchy at the same time? This album kicks some serious ass in terms of straightforward aggression and breathless headbanging from start to finish at super hyperspeed. The album is only just about half an hour long, but it will leave you completely worn out after one spin. There are no gaps in between tracks, nor are there relief section amidst the songs themselves where you can catch your breath. The relentless beating these guys deliver is more crushing than a full-on stampede of Viking barbarians running all over you – again, and again, and yet over again!
Really, this album is pure death metal perfection. These guys blend the catchiest and most super-aggressively-fun riffs ever to come out of Sweden with the most mentally stupefying brutal charge in the best tradition of the good old Florida style. Every single track on this record is brutal, short, and straight to the point. I was going to say “don’t expect melody from these shores”, but the most awesome thing is that there actually is melody here. A very strange kind of melody, but it is here. It is music through every single crushing and pounding second of this album.
The riffs are memorable in the best Vomitory tradition. You can actually distinguish every song and remember them after you’ve listened to them. The rest of the instruments are all played masterfully as well. The bass sounds like a huge sledgehammer and the drums like a monster machine-gun firing away and blasting whatever stands in its way. And then the vocals – moist, low, grasping, ferocious, evil...almost as if it's a constant war cry throughout.
This album is amazing. If it were longer than its 33 minutes, I’m pretty sure some spines would end up severed along the way. But be sure, if you’re not physically (and mentally) fit, then be prepared for an extenuating (but ultimately unforgettable) experience, because this is one of the best death metal albums ever.
Here’s yet another excellent Swedish death metal album, Vomitory’s Blood Rapture. Vomitory is the kind of band that is actually pretty easy to get into. For “tr00″ death metal, their music is actually insanely catchy. Even their first album, Raped in Their Own Blood, is catchy despite a pretty lo-fi production job. But Vomitory really perfected their sound on their 2002 album, Blood Rapture. Not only does this have all the makings of a great, unrelentingly heavy album, but the sound is just so perfectly crisp that you can’t help but at least appreciate it for that.
The riffs here alternate between standard Swedish tremolo picking and some catchy as fuck groovy riffs. While the groovy riffs might be the ones that stand out to you upon your first listen, the melodies in the tremolo picked riffs are just as catchy with their subtle, downright hypnotic tendencies. In addition, the ways in which these riffs play off each other is part of what makes this album so great. Hell, just pick a random song and pay attention to the interaction between the different styles of riffing and you’ll see exactly what I mean. The first track on this album, ‘Chaos Fury,’ is a good example of this.
These songs are all generally fast-paced, but one thing that sticks out to me about them is that despite being at such a pace, they never seem to be trying to be THE FASTEST FUCKING BAND EVAR (insert weedily solo here). Don’t get me wrong, some of the songs here eventually speed things up (that blastbeating section in ‘Hollow Retribution’ at the 2:00 mark always gets me), but it never feels like they’re actively trying to do this. If anything, it’s just a natural progression of the music, instead of some contrived “brutal” wankery, and the end result is that the music feels more genuine. This is real death metal for real people who don’t need their bands to be blasting away incessantly, seemingly attempting to prove how brutal they are with pure speed. Fuck those kinds of bands. Bands like Vomitory are the ones that make death metal so great.
My favorite song here is easily ‘Blessed and Forsaken.’ It’s about a simple as it gets, musically, but god damn, this fucker is infectious! This song takes everything I’ve described and epitomizes how to do it perfectly. The transitions between riffs, the tempo changes, the overall heaviness–it’s all there! Speaking of the transitions, I happen to really enjoy the blastbeating transitions from one riff to another. It really gives this otherwise groovy song a big boost in the variety department to keep things interesting and changing often. And then there’s that monster fucking section at the end of this song. While I don’t particularly enjoy “moshing” or “pits” at shows, this seems like almost the ideal section of a song for a crowd to go fucking crazy to. It has that perfect slow build up leading into a horribly simple chuggy riff with a tri-vocal guttural scream. And god damn, that fade out fucking owns. Maybe I’m biased since this song was my introduction to Vomitory, but I think this should be a blueprint on how to create a simple, yet effective death metal song.
I could write a paragraph about every song here, but I’ll spare you from that. Instead, I’d like to talk about the production of this album. Simply put, this is absolutely perfect production for a modern death metal album. Absolutely perfect! I shit you not, this is how a modern death metal album should sound (Atheist could have learned from this). The mixing job here is absolutely perfect, giving each instrument the appropriate space to define its presence, while not letting any one individual instrument dominate. That beautiful guitar sound (seriously, it’s beautiful) is just perfect for a Swedeath album, and it’s at the best possible level in the mix so that the riffs are not only audible, but at that perfect level where they can be heard so that you will undoubtedly have them stuck in your head for days and days, possibly longer. The drums have that modern edge to them (read as: triggered), but aren’t obnoxiously loud or too clicky at all. They just sound clean, yet still thick. This is the kind of trigger usage that I have absolutely no problem with. As for the all-important issue of clipping, let’s just say that there’s very little clipping present here. Really, this feels like it’s at a perfect volume level–loud enough to be modern and so that you can hear everything, but not so loud and over-compressed so that everything is a muddy mess. It’s this clean production that really makes me feel that this is an exceptionally catchy album, even by Vomitory standards. While Raped in Their Own Blood, brings in all the riffs we know and love from Vomitory, the production just…isn’t this. If we’re talking about favorite old-school death metal production jobs, I’d definitely mention some Scott Burns album or Demigod’s Slumber of Sullen Eyes first, but for a modern sound, this is what I’d say is probably the best I’ve heard.
There’s really nothing much else to say about this great album. Go listen to it. You won’t regret it.
Written for http://thenumberoftheblog.com/
Blood Rapture represents the forth death metal output for Vomitory. As we all know, if you are searching for a band which can always give you the right dose of heaviness and brutality, Vomitory can do no wrong. Since the very first album, their style was coherent in terms of death metal and they never searched for innovations because the only thing they wanna do is to play death metal, plain and simple. The influences may come from different parts of the world but the formula is the same and this formula so far has reached the highest levels with the first two efforts by this band.
Blood Rapture comes after a good but not astonishing Revelation Nausea that suffered a bit the lack of fantasy in terms of songwriting. Where the blasting Redemption succeeded in combine the brutality with a good and solid songwriting, Revelation Nausea failed a bit. However, with this new effort, this relentless band tried to save the situation a bit and I think they did a great work here. Since the opener, “Chaos Fury”, the band does great things for the clash of the various tempo sections and the riffage that, once again, is more various and sometimes it gives a bit of melody in order to create a dark atmosphere. The following “Hollow Retribution” features a massive use of blast beats even if the crust/grind riffs are well supported by the classic up tempo.
With “Blessed and Forsaken” we reach again great levels because the structure is more various and the galloping riffs are just amazing, as the open chords ones. The growl on this album is stronger and louder, filling the air with gore and violence. The intensity goes on superb levels because the band hits strong and even with a more “mid-paced” track like “Madness Prevails” we cannot rest and the great lead lines are there to give the right gloomy drops. With “Redeemed in Flames” we enter into the most violent grind/death territory if we consider the first part because, going on, the riffs slow down and the drums follow to create a black monolith with the addition of the classic, dark lead lines.
“Nailed, Quartered, Consumed” marks again the return of the most impulsive soul of the band and with the short length it’s not boring at all but, instead, it’s perfect to leave you stunned. With “Eternity Appears” maybe we reach the zenith point of this album because the band is truly inspired in creating a really dark/epic progression that differs a bit from the rest just because of the strong use of the double bass and thanks to that lead notes everything results incredibly catchy too. “Rotting Hill” is a return to speed but the riffs are always good and not like on the previous album, in which, at times, they resulted a bit insipid in their one way brutality.
The final “Blood Rapture” is a slow, grooving and putrid death metal march. The tempo is slow and the crunchy riffs create a scenario of gore and apocalypse. By the middle, this song explodes on speed and so it goes till the end of this very good return by Vomitory. I’d rather recommend this album instead of its precursor but for those who search for speed and brutality, every single release by this band is to recommend. However, on this album we noticed a quite strong improvement as far as the structures are concerned. A very good death metal album.
These Swedes just continue to do it time and again...Could it be something in their drinking water? Whatever it is, they have no problems churning out instant Metal classics. Vomitory's fourth long player is so instant and infectious, in fact...That I can almost guarantee with a complete certainty that within the first listen and your first read throughout the lyrics, You'll be growling right along with Mr. Rundqvist. It's THAT catchy. However, for some of you that unfortunately persist in thinking that hooks and "brutality" cannot co-exist. Give the song Nail, Quartered, Consumed a listen! Your foot will go in your mouth quicker than In Flames sells out San Francisco. It seems these days Metal Blade has been redeeming their roster in ways, signing bands such as Vehemence, Vader, etc. If Vomitory are any testament of what's to come from this supposedly extinct Metal monolith, They could yet again become a major player in the scene. In closing, I would like to say that this album is everything good Death Metal should be: fast, punishing, relentless, and above all DEATH. Those limp wristed Gothenburg charlatans don't have a thing on Vomitory. Seek elsewhere for self-indulgent wankery and "progression". BUY THIS NOW