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I’ve been looking forward to Vomtory’s new album, Opus Mortis VIII, for quite awhile now. While I typically don’t keep track of new releases until I hear something from someone I trust, this was one that had my eye for awhile now. As expected, this album most certainly lives up to my expectations. Kids, Vomitory back, and they’re kicking ass as usual.
The first song here is the single, ‘Regorge in the Morgue,’ which I already mentioned my enjoyment for a bit back. This is an aggressive, hard-hittng, fast song that starts the album off with a band! That delicious riff at 1:35 further accentuates the catchy-ness of Vomitory’s music, as well as they’re Swedish roots. While Vomitory is a Swedish death metal band at heart, their deviance from the usual Swedish standards is welcomed since they do it so well. The simple, groovy riffs do wonders for these songs, as evidence on the next track, ‘Bloodstained.’ In particular, I love the riff that sounds like it starts with a pinch harmonic at around 1:40. Accentuating the beginning of the riff like that really adds an element of chaotic frenzy to it, which I absolutely love.
‘They Will Burn’ brings in a devilishly infectious riff to start things off. Sure, this is simple as shit, but it’s the execution that makes it so great. This riff fits perfectly within the context of this song, aiding it as it transitions into the next part. While the vocals on this album are really guttural, even by Vomitory standards, some of this song is so catchy that I can sing to it! And if that isn’t good enough, the solo on this track is just as catchy, if not catchier!
‘Hate in a Time of War’ is initially a slower track with an eerie intro, but god damn, the first riff in this song is grandiose! It’s slower, doomier, and darker than most of the riffs on this album, but it does an excellent job opening up this song, which eventually transitions into the faster Vomitory that we all know and love. This song is a really welcome addition to Opus Mortis VIII, because it gives it that slower pace that it needs to cool down, but doesn’t lose any of the traditional Vomitory ferocity. ‘Shrouded in Darkness’ brings back this slower pace later, but in a very different way that ‘Hate in a Time of War.’ Instead, ‘Shrouded in Darkness,’ is more groove-oriented and riff-based than ‘Hate in a Time of War,’ qhich illustrates yet another dimension of Vomitory’s sound.
‘Forever Damned’ is definitely one of the best songs here, displaying a thrashy style of frenetic tendencies, ranging from staccato riffs to fast solos. However, the satiating drum fills that first go unnoticed upon first listen around the 1:08 are a real treat to the ears if you pay attention closely. After the second solo, we get some more staple thrash riffing that evolves into one of the catchiest parts of the album, which leads into a variation of this for the outro. While I’m not fond of fade-outs, I like this one for some reason. I think it might be because the song leaves a bit of tension behind with its departure so as to not make the next song just come in with no context. Whatever it is, I like it.
The thing is, with all of these catchy components, Vomitory still manages to write music that has substance and compositional merit. This is what separates good bands from bad. It’s not how complex the music is, but how it’s arranged, and in that regard, Vomitory do an excellent job. I’m actually really shocked to say this, but these songs are almost all instantly memorable from the first listen, which is really rare with me upon the first listen of an album, let alone and old school death metal album. Each song here possesses its own unique identity, and that’s what ultimately stands out for me. Sure, there are plenty of awesome riffs here. Sure, the vocals are deep as fuck. Sure, the solos are great. But when combined, everyhting has this identity that I feel is lost in a lot of modern music of all genres. As of now, Opus Mortis VIII easily has a spot on my top 10 list for the year, and in addition, it actually surpassed my expectations, which were already quite high to begin with. This is recommended to any fan of death metal, as it has all the staples of a good death metal album.
Written for http://thenumberoftheblog.com/
Opus Mortis VIII is the last album of Vomitory after 22 years form the creation of the band. This album, if compared to the older efforts by this band, shows a little less pure death metal stye but, that does not mean that is less anger and killer.
First of all, the production of this album is excellent. The very 'dark' guitars are heard during the whole album and the work done on this release is just great. The solos on this album are simply great as their musicality and skillful scales brings each song a solo a great sound. The drums have a pretty good rhythm and clear sound, and the vocals are mixed above the music well. The production of this release is good and the album was made and recorded really well.
With respect to the lyrical themes and the voice of Erick, I think that he does an excellent job here and he gives to the album the 'death'' voice style. The lyrics are very interesting because some themes on this album are related to death, gore and kill.
The structure of the album, in my opinion, is pretty good as all the songs are well-structured and all the instruments and vocals do well with the tempos. Also, the music on this album has a good pattern and rhythm, making the album nicely structured.
Opus Mortis VIII is a very good and this album is recommended especially if you are looking for a bit less impulsive and more old-fashioned Vomitory but, in general, if you love death metal this cannot be overlooked.
The new album from brutal death metal stalwarts Vomitory is really anything but new. And once again, that is not necessarily a bad thing, but this album simply fulfills genre requirements, though it's intense performance and overwhelming sound raise it a little above the muck.
Production wise, this is a crystal clear, state of the art metal album, a Metal Blade sounding album. The guitars are overwhelming heavy, bludgeoning away in to the night, rarely ever letting up. No variety of tones, either, just a blur of wanton brutality, though most of the instruments are distinct from one another. Same goes for the drum work, not much subtlety or variety, just unrelenting bashing.
Slayer circa Reign In Blood is the band most explicitly referenced. Often, this borders on plagiarism, but mostly comes across as homage. "The Dead Awaken" is where this is most obvious, right down to the spastic blur of the guitar solo. Things only really slow down during "Shrouded In Darkness", a crawling double bass driven grind that is the best track on the album.
If you feel the need to check out Vomitory, start with their earlier albums, as this album is as generic as they come, saved only by it's intensity.
Consider me a critical ass that has nothing amazing to say about Vomitory. I like some of their material (especially "Revelation Nausea") and enjoy the assault they always deliver without a stutter, but that's always been too much of a double-edge sword for my tastes. I see Vomitory as a weed absorbing death metal's standard ideals while making an effort to not appear like anything else. "Opus Mortis VIII" continues Vomitory's butchering pedigree, adding another slash to the band's collection of dismembered bodies and legacy of cannibalistic violence. Yea, it sounds awesome, but I'm just not impressed. Vomitory seems to be circling around this self-mirroring death metal which stays locked in its five-by-eight cell for twenty hours a day. Clearly, the gimmick is depleting rapidly.
Generally speaking, it seems the clichés and expectations that usually fornicate around Vomitory are systemically turning against the band. Erik Rundqvist's guttural growls stay monotone and painfully uninspired throughout. The guitar work shifts from chord-burning speed to slow-roasted grooves ala Bolt Thrower in a thick shell of venomous distortion; the drums, too, are layered in blast beats and other percussion techniques often detected in the realm of death metal. Here's my problem: name a time when these things weren't the spine of Vomitory's music. These Swedes have pillaged this town seven times before, so why go on the rampage again? "Opus Mortis VIII" is the same album released for the eighth time, and I quickly found myself bored after a few listens.
"Regorge in the Morgue" brings brawn to the initial source with a d-beat (old-school hardcore like Discharge) beating which still covers all of Vomitory's bases. "Bloodstained" makes the record somewhat bearable with a mid-speed riff ala "Tombs of the Mutilated" which turns down a jagged chamber of ravenous leads and frenzied blasting. "The Dead Awaken" is another killing spree worth mentioning, and "Forever Damned" sticks out a lot as well. The riffs and patterns from this point on evaporate into a nameless fog of brutality, however. Everything comes and goes like a scream unleashed at the volume of a mute whisper. I'd rather listen to this than a number of releases, but still, this is really vapid death metal at heart.
Barring the few mentionable moments that I enjoy, "Opus Mortis VIII" is totally skip-worthy. Vomitory has breached the musical threshold after years of committing the same murder ad nauseam, and now the band's identity suffers to a volatile degree because of this unreserved misuse of novice death metal, now losing its acceptable charm. You can mentally picture the meat and potatoes of "Opus Mortis VIII" without hearing it, and there's no reason to dive into something so foreseeable unless you know absolutely nothing regarding the basics of death metal. I guess pick this up if you enjoy the band; if not, get into their early albums instead of this uninspired routine.
This review was written for: www.Thrashpit.com
2010 and 2011 have been host to some good Metal releases. Vomitory's eighth studio album titled Opus Mortis VIII is one of them. The album was highly awaited by fans of the band and Death Metal in general. Vomitory are known to be consistent as all their previous releases have the proper blend of brutality and old-school vibe. Even though their sound doesn't change much across albums, they manage to keep it fresh with newer riffs and energetic songs. I'd dare compare them to Bolt Thrower - they are consistent, rarely change their sound, but always deliver.
Opus Mortis VIII is slightly different from other Vomitory albums as here they concentrate more on mid-pace riffs and drumming rather than in-your-face brutality as seen in Terrorize, Brutalize, Sodomize. They do speed up at places, but the level of brutality doesn't quite reach high enough, and is as brutal is Blood Rapture at most. But that can be ignored as brutality is just an added element of their music. The highlights of the album are the riffs. They are all over the place and cannot go unnoticed. Each riff is catchy-as-fuck and headbang-able. There are breakdowns too. Yes, breakdowns as in the ones usually present in Swedish Death Metal, more closely related to "Thrash Breaks" rather than -core breakdowns. Most of songs sound like a cross between Asphyx and Slayer, and the band has apparently cut down on blast-beats and super-fast riffs, which, even though present, are scattered across the album just in few places. The riffs on Forever Damned and Combat Psychosis are especially memorable. Just listen to the break in Combat Psychosis, and tell me you weren't imagining swinging an axe towards someone's neck. The whole album is full of such moments and it doesn't get stale.
The band's overall sound has remained largely unchanged with this album - the guitars sound muddy as always, the drums reek of brutality when they blast away. Each snare shot feels like a sledgehammer and in mid-paced section, they provide a sufficient groove. The bass drums pound away all the while like no tomorrow. Erik Rundqvist does a great job on vocals. He is guttural, yet comprehensible enough. Erik's vocals lack variety, but are consistently brutal and do the job well for a bassist-vocalist. The album is bass-heavy too. That combined with the muddy guitar sound is reminiscent of some late-90s Death Metal album. It goes without saying that a dirty guitar sound with heavy bass makes for a good album. In terms of sound there is a noticeable improvement from Carnage Euphoria. The wall of treble distortion that made the album impossible to listen to with poor quality speakers/earphones is not a big problem here as the sound is rather thick and bass-heavy, so poor people like me, who lack good hardware can rejoice.
A great release by a rather consistent band. Being one of the bands that always put out similar-sounding albums, do not expect anything new from these guys, buy if you are a Death Metal fan, Vomitory will keep you coming back for more. Get it now! Get the whole discography an you will not be disappointed. Not to forget, Kickarse album artwork!
It must be great to be Vomitory, doing pretty much the same thing year in and year out and managing somehow never to date yourself or sink into irrelevance. Of course, this is pure Swedish death metal of the old 90s variety, a sub-genre which is currently experiencing an indisputable overload of new talents and stinkers, yet these specific gentlemen are one of the originals, even if their debut arrived later than their more infamous peers (Raped in Their Own Blood, 1996). Opus Mortis VIII is yet another puerile pummeling in the vein of Dismember, Entombed, and so forth, with that added fresh paint of blood and velocity that they have become synonymous with, and while I can't cite it as one of their strongest, it delivers at least the neck wrenching you expect.
That said, it took a few tracks here before I jumped on board the entrails express. "Regorge in the Morgue" is a standard, fist pumping d-beat with acceleration into blasted territory, and the ensuing "Bloodstained" a mid-paced, effective blunt instrument, but not until "They Will Burn" did I find myself back in the saddle. A hooky thrasher with lower pitched growls than usual, almost like a mixture of mid to late 80s Slayer and old Unleashed. "The Dead Awaken" follows suit with another great thrash riff bisected with old school, writhing death. Beyond this chunk of carnage, the material becomes a bit less balanced in quality. "Hate in a Time of War" seems to offer something different through its tranquil, clean guitar into, but the thick grooves are not so exciting. "Torturous Ingenious" and "Forever Damned" tear shit up as if they were outtakes from the band's unsung classics like Revelation Nausea or Carnage Euphoria; "Shrouded in Darkness" has a classic Morbid Angel lurch to it which is sweet; yet others like "Requiem for the Fallen" and "Combat Psychosis" offer about one decent riff and not much else.
Opus Mortis VIII does suffer a little from the been there, done that syndrome, especially since its artisans have delivered far more punishing, diabolic efforts in the past, but its by no means a bad album for those dead set on the genre's purist virtues. Like any satisfactory horror film, you will not experience any skimping of the gore elements, nor any reduction in the band's violent propulsion. However, there are precious few riffs here that make you want to strap a lawnmower to your chest and tunnel through the dead OR the living, and it's unlikely that this will offer an increased appeal beyond the core audience with cannibalistic, unswerving loyalty. If you are seeking out Vomitory for the first time, then I'd much more recommend you experience the beautiful atrocities that are Revelation Nausea and Primal Massacre. If not, then this is another day at the butcher block. Meat in steady supply for all carnivores, but you must supply your own seasoning.