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Five years after the end of Vomitory, I guess this name still enjoys a good reputation in the death metal scene. This does not surprise me, because some of their albums delivered the essence of old school death metal in its most energizing form. Especially "Redemption" (1999), "Blood Rapture" (2002) and the output between these two works invite the fans of the lethal genre to lose their self-control in a matter of seconds. You guessed it, the "output beween" is, of course, "Revelation Nausea".
The album unites all features that one can expect from a death metal full-length. The guitars celebrate sheer brutality, the sepulchral voice enjoys monotony as a value in itself and the rhythm section does all it can to deliver the suitable frame for the other guys. The obviously good "chemistry" within the band enables its members to show their best possible performances. Directly after the short, anti-religious introduction, the audience is at risk to be trampled to death. Indeed, the album does not suffer from a weak production. Quite the opposite, its massiveness delivers an extremely high degree of vehemence. Yet this approach is not at the expense of clarity and differentiation. Vomitory's sound combines brutality with an ominous accuracy. Thus, the listeners have the option to run for shelter or to stand on the battlefield without protection and breath the plumbiferous air. Guess it is a matter of course that we take the second alternative.
One might say that the Swedes just use the well known tools. I agree. Nevertheless, the aura of this album cannot be blamed for ordinariness. Spontaneous and impulsive, relentless and explosive, these terms describe the way how Vomitory attack in a suitable manner. Lovely titles such as "The Corpsegrinder Experience" do not promise too much. While their Swedish competitors were not always immune against lameness (Unleashed's "Warrior") or modern trends (Grave's "Hating Life"), Vomitory's compass knows only one aim, the gory realm of pure death metal. Three band members have composed the ten sticks of dynamite, only guitarist Urban Gustafsson fell victim to his own laziness. Nevertheless, the musical accordance of three quarters of the band guarantees compliance with the dogmas of the sub genre. This does not preclude that the band varies the tempo, but rather cosily grinding tracks in the vein of Bolt Thrower's mid-tempo pieces are conspicuous by their absence. Only "When Silence Conquers", the more or less epic track of "Revelation Nausea", points in this direction and delivers, intentionally or by chance, militaristic drum rolls at the beginning and the end as well as martial lyrics. Jo Bench can therefore drink her cup of tea with a satisfied smile, even though the unteachable horde from Karlstad delivers also faster parts during this song.
Vomitory do not run out of puff, far from it. Nevertheless, the songs of the album's second half are slightly weaker than the first five tracks. Regardless of this tendency, "The Holocaust" with its towering guitar lines, the mandatory high speed outburst and flattening intermezzo after the first two verses marks the final highlight of "Revelation Nausea". This song does not fall by the wayside in comparison with overwhelming tracks of the first half such as "Beneath the Soil" or "Under Clouds of Blood", that reflect the hellish ecstasy of Vomitory's most enthusiastic outbursts. Moreover, they possess a certain underground catchiness which is not totally sidelined by the destructive violence of the guitars. Long story short, death metal lunatics that do not know this album (or "Redemption" or "Blood Rapture") still have a lot to learn.
In one of my previous reviews I have praised Vomitory for being one of the best death metal bands at the time of the late 90’s / early 00’s… Remember, it was the time when this style was music wasn’t in the best form and has been somehow putted into the second rank, giving a way to black metal, so not many really killer death metal acts were active and managed to record seriously destructive albums. With “Redemption” Vomitory proved that it was still possible to play damn brutal and neckbreaking death metal, with lots of fast and utterly uncompromising tempos, while maintaining the dark, creepy atmosphere and with many absolutely memorable and instantly killing riffs. “Redemption” was excellent and then Vomitory released their third album “Revelation Nausea” and I still don’t know which of these two records is better, as both kill without mercy and both are just splendid, supreme death metal albums.
I guess it would be easiest just to say that both are equally damn good. And let’s stick to it then, as really “Revelation Nausea” provides such an intense and brutal dose of death metal, with every song being just an instant classic, that I really find it hard to point there any weaknesses on the whole album. Actually when reviewing “Revelation Nausea” I just can repeat many sentences from my review of “Redemption”, as “Revelation…” pretty much follows the path of its predecessor, both musically and quality wise, but one thing I need to say first – I feel like this third album is even more intense and even faster than the previous effort. It is sheer brutality, fast and merciless death metal attack… but I love the fact that it isn’t a pointless noise and useless wall of sound of unreadable riffs. This music is still pretty memorable, with almost catchy riffs (in death metal way of corpse) and really great deep growls of Erik Rundqvist, who took over the vocal duties from Jussi Linna, who left the band between the two albums, which I mentioned already. “Revelation Nausea” isn’t also a constant blast, no way; the band has varied the whole music wisely and there are few mid paced songs (which sometimes remind me Bolt Thrower; he nice!), but my general feeling is that the fast parts are even faster and the whole album is even more brutal than its predecessor. Just listen to the title song and then “The Corpsegrinder Experience” (killer title… it says everything I guess! Blast, blast, fuckin blast!)… what a savage, ferocious music! I guess these two songs along with “Beneath the Soil” and “The Art of War” are my favourite (I also really like “When Silence Conquers” with its marching drumming and great Bolt Thrower-ish old school slow and heavy death metal!), but really the whole album is excellent and doesn’t lack anything… if only the brutality is what you seek, not some melodies and sweet harmonies then this is album for you hehe!
Standout tracks: “Revelation Nausea”, “The Corpsegrinder Experience”, “Beneath the Soil”, “When Silence Conquers”
Final rate: 85/100
Though their sophomore effort Redemption was a great album, it is Revelation Nausea where Sweden's paint-peeling fist of death dialed the aggression up a notch and sprayed their demon seed upon the womb of blasphemy. Vomitory is adept at one thing: taking the brutality of roots Swedish death metal and cranking it to oblivion. Revelation Nausea is a near flawless eruption of energetic diabolism to send poseurs packing.
The title track begins with a fitting sample before laying down an intense pileup of aggressive melody and blasting violence. Bonesaw rhythms and excellent but simple selection of notes are refined through the holocaust of the album's mix. Though they lean towards the faster pace, the band is fully capable of incorporation breakdowns, as in "The Corpsegrinder Experience" with its insane old school break at about 1:27. There is nigh a weak song to be had on this album, each exemplifies the pure thrust of old school death smothered in crushing brutality and 21st century production standards. "Beneath the Soil" pulverizes with its d-beat verses and grinding destruction. "The Art of War" incorporates a Hellhammer-like groove into some sinister pure death metal guitar lines. "When Silence Conquers" is an amazing slower track which picks up to mid-pace for some killer riffing. "Exhaling Life" is another of my favorites with some moody and intense guitars.
Looking back over a career which has brought us many excellent albums, I have to admit that Revelation Nausea may be my top choice, with Primal Massacre close behind. It's a top notch Swedish death metal record which belongs in the company of its influences like Entombed and Dismember. If you're fond of the crushing, beautiful tone bands of this ilk and national alignment tend to create, this is essential.
Revelation Nausea is the third album for Vomitory and the first one for Erik Rundqvist on vocals. The death metal style remained unvaried even on this album, but when the first notes of the title track enter, we can already notice something different in the production because the sounds are a bit more human than the ones on Redemption album. The vocals by the newcomer I believe they are a bit more growlish and low but always powerful and they give the right dark touch to the whole album, as the instruments play fast and truly brutal.
The blast beats are long and the up tempo sections let the most accessible style emerge thanks to the wise use of the lead lines to create a sort of dramatic atmosphere. The following “The Corpsegrinder Experience” doesn’t differ because the riffs are always countless and the drumming is savage, relentless. The blast beats sections are literally like explosions because the production exalts them in a perfect way so you can clearly hear the beats. The slower sections are always obscure and nasty to give a deserved pause in the middle of this massacre. “Beneath the Soil” displays a more various style because we can find long bass drums parts and the very good crust/grind open chords riffs that are followed by the classic up tempo. These sections drive me crazy because they are even more intense that the blast beats ones.
“Under Clouds of Blood” is a neverending bloodbath made of impulsive, hyper fast parts even if the mid section is good to change a bit with a good work by the guitars. Without a second to chill out, here we find the great “The Art of War” that once again displays a quite strong structure, passing through the crust riffs to the death ones and through a quite catchy refrain. “When the Silence Conquers” is a quite long track with the military style drum rolls and the slow progression of the instruments to create a doomy approach. So far, the best track here because Vomitory demonstrated how to play slower and in a perfect way. “Chapter of Pain” is more impulsive when “The Holocaust” points more on the speed of the double bass drum, filling some parts with very good mid-paced breaks to support the dark lead lines.
The last two tracks, “Exhaling Life” and “9mm Salvation” are a bit too monotonous at this point because the brutality of these songs doesn’t bring much variation to the guitar lines. It’s just a continuing massacre but with less ideas and that’s bores a bit. Anyway, Vomitory came back with another good album. This one is a bit less memorable but always good.