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Swedish Death Metal is Still Reigning - 85%

Visionary, September 18th, 2009

Filthy, vile, putrid, and venomous are just some of the adjectives that characterize this release. Thoughts of Autopsy, Bolt Thrower and the early Swedish scene like Entombed and Grave come to mind. Most death metal today is just tame sounding melodic death metal bands, ultra brutal yet dry sounding or just technical wankery. Bands either seem to be trying to redefine the limits of brutality while losing that atmospheric edge that makes the music so great in the first place, or just sound tame appealing to a wider audience. I blame Suffocation and At the Gates for this. No disrespect to them, they just do not appeal to me. Bands that create a filthy or vile sound is what I need for death metal to be appealing to me. Darkthrone’s debut, Autopsy and much of the early Swedish scene like Grave and Entombed is what I like. Unfortunately it is so hard to find bands still playing this way. Vomitory shows that this kind of death metal is still alive and kicking.

This is one of the most brutal albums I have heard. The guitar tone is thick, and putrid while playing crushing, mid to fast paced groove riffs kind of like a cross between Grave and mid-era Bolt Thrower. Vomitory plays really tight and shows that they are very experienced musicians. The riffs kick you in the gut and never let up while never getting boring, as there is a good amount of variation and they are often quite catchy to. The occasional guitar solo is thrown in which is a welcome addition as well. They come in slow and melodic or just short and chaotic.

The drums thankfully don’t sound obnoxious as hell like so many modern death metal bands. Nope, the drums sound real instead of these clicky triggers that plague death metal now, especially those technical brutal ones. Listen to Psycroptic for what I am on about. The drummer doesn’t do anything flashy but just does his job and does it really well. The use of the snare is common but not overdone and it doesn’t have that metallic trash can tone that Metallica made infamous with St. Anger. The snare has turned me off to so many of those brutal death metal bands because of this.

The vocals are pretty standard incomprehensible guttural growls but some of the best I have heard. They don’t sound overly abrasive or pitchshifted to the point of sounding like a complete joke and none of those obnoxious screeches that plague most deathcore bands can be found. Erik doesn’t change the tone on his vocals much but when they sound this fitting then there is really not much need to.

The mixing is excellent with the guitars in the forefront grinding away but they do not drown out the drums and the vocals are not drowned out either, nor do the vocals drown everything else out like many bands do.

There really aren’t many complaints I could say for this album. It is a bit on the short side at only 38minutes and while the production is the best in their career the songwriting isn’t quite up to the level of albums like Blood Rapture but that is not to say it is bad as it still better than 99% of the other death metal coming out today; it just holds back Carnage Euphoria from being totally exceptional.

Standout Tracks: Serpents, The Carnage Rages on, Possessed, and the Great Deceiver.

Swedish masters return - 90%

gk, June 4th, 2009

Over the last twenty odd years, Vomitory has become a Swedish death metal institution. They can be relied upon to release quality death metal at a fairly regular rate and Vomitory fans are generally the most passionate band fans in the death metal genre. There’s something about this band that just makes people look forward to them and the fact that the band just continues to release high quality death metal makes them one of the more consistent outfits in the genre.

Carnage Euphoria is no different. In fact I can safely say that this is the band’s best album since my own personal favourite, Revelation Nausea. If the last album Terrorize Brutalize Sodomize failed to keep up with the band’s standards and was merely good and not fucking awesome, then with Carnage Euphoria the band is pretty much at the height of its powers. Relatively new guitarist Peter Östlund absolutely rips it along with main man Urban Gustafsson and Tobias Gustafsson’s drumming is the backbone to this whole album.

What really makes Vomitory stand out from the rest of the death metal scene is the band’s ability to meld classic Swedish death metal with the grind of mid period Napalm Death while all the time focusing on songs that are always heavy as fuck but also memorable. Stand out tracks include the awesome A Lesson in Virulence which just screams Swedish death metal from the moment of that opening riff, Rage of Honor which grinds with a ferocity that we haven’t seen in a while from the band, Rebirth of the Grotesque which channels Napalm Death to startling effect, the Slayer gone death metal of Deadlock and the completely pulverizing Serpents. Honestly though, there really isn’t a bad song here. Its ten songs and thirty six minutes of pure death metal mayhem.

Vomitory really has pushed the levels with Carnage Euphoria. I can’t find anything to really complain about on this album. The songs are well thought out, the riffing is heavy as fuck, the playing is terrific right through with Tobias’s drumming really sounding terrific and the production is just about a perfect fit for the music. Vomitory is now well and truly a veteran of the scene with twenty years of experience to their credit and it really is quite impressive that the band is still releasing albums of such high quality. Carnage Euphoria is highly recommended for fans of death metal.

Originally written for http://www.kvltsite.com

Perfect to sate any violent impulse - 85%

autothrall, May 9th, 2009

The powerful distortion and punk/d-beat infused energy which has always permeated most Swedish death metal has seen quite the revival in recent years, with countless new bands forming as tributes to the original tone and style. Others have been at it for some time now, and at the forefront of these stands Vomitory, a band responsible for such devastating outbursts as 'Revelation Nausea' and 'Primal Massacre'. If you've heard one Vomitory album, then you've probably heard them all. But when a band is this consistent, I'm not complaining.

'Carnage Euphoria' is their 7th full length effort, and while it may not have the same shock factor that I felt first listening to a few of their past works, the quality is undeniable. "The Carnage Rages On" is a fast opening track which hardens the arteries but didn't throw me over the edge. It took the second track, "Serpents" to do that, grinding with menace across several Left Hand Path-worthy grooves dippsed in Slayer sauce. "A Lesson in Virulence" starts with a barbaric old school death/thrashing, Rundqvist bass plodding along with the perfect distortion as the band alternates between further Swede melodi-grind and some slower grooves perfect to sate any violent impulse. "Ripe Cadavers" lets the war drumming roll right into another of those d-beat/Hellhammer deathstyle rhythms which are so rarely pulled off with an air of menace. Not the case here. "Rage of Honour" is a little more pure grind, I heard a little Rotten Sound, or rather Napalm Death. "The Ravenous Dead" is one of the best tracks on the album, totally rocking out with some great death/doom rhythms and a bridge of pure evil. Other fist fucks include "Deadlock" and "Possessed", performed with exhilirating speed and callous brutality. "Great Deceiver" ends the album with an epic and evil flair to its opening melodies, with some sick verse rhythms.

The tone here is simply a beast, with just the proper crust of punishing fuzz to fuel these thrashing, grinding axeworks. It's probably the best sounding of all their albums to date. The band has actually been around for 20 years now, and have yet to waver from the path of true Swedish destruction. Their passion and energy for the form is relevant and practically unrivaled, and though it may not have impressed me as much few of their early butcheries, it belongs in any DEATH METAL fan's arsenal.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com