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Another fine compilation! - 80%

dismember_marcin, January 26th, 2017

"Vile Beast of Abomination" is a really fine compilation of songs of one of these legendary, but relatively underrated US death metal bands from the old era. Goreaphobia, formed in 1988, was a relatively short lived act, as they split up in 1994 and through these few years they only released a demo and 7" EP - both of which you can find on this CD. But even with such small discography, they managed to become a recognizable and cult band. Goreaphobia's history obviously didn't end in 1994 and later the band was reformed twice - first in 1999 and then again in 2004, this time for longer (they even recorded two albums before splitting up yet again... and for good, as it looks like).

"Vile Beast of Abomination" starts with some newer songs of Goreaphobia, which I didn't know before, as they're 2004 unreleased material, with four truly fuckin crushing songs of vicious and obscure death metal. Oh man, this shit sounds incredibly good, with songs like "Wraith Reaper" or "Creator Chaos," it's just beastly stuff. Great riffage, with lots of fast, but also great slower parts and great approach towards classic death metal. "Wraith Reaper" really stands out here, with its excellent playing. If there's anything to moan, then maybe I don't like those screamed vocals so much and would prefer to hear more typical growls... but it's a minor complaint and generally I feel like Goreaphobia really came up with great material here. A bit different to their older recordings, but damn good for sure.

Later we can listen to old songs from classic releases "Omen of Masochism" (1991 EP) and "Morbidious Pathology" (1990 demo). The band sounded brutal, very dark and harsh and they definitely have a lot in common with other representatives of old school brutal death metal like Incantation, Morpheus Descends, Rottrevore, Brutality, Decrepit, Immolation and so on. I love this old US death metal scene, with many killer bands - some of which became more popular and did many albums and some, which only did some demos and never become recognized (like Body Bag, Timeghoul, Ossuary, Arioch, Contagion and so on). Goreaphobia sounded better and more savage than many of them and these two old recordings are a fine proof of it. The production on the demo may not be the best, but even that has its killer charm and fits perfectly to this rotten, brutal death metal style. But I prefer the EP - for me it's the best thing that Goreaphobia has ever recorded.

Musically "Vile Beast of Abomination" is a killer compilation, but also the whole presentation of this CD, released by Necroharmonic Productions, is truly spotless. Take a look on this fat booklet, filled with millions of archive photographs, but also one of the most in depth and detailed liner notes I've ever seen. This is what I call a complete and perfect work!

Standout tracks: "Omen of Masochism", "Wraith Reaper"
final rate: 80/100

If "old-school USDM" were in the dictionary... - 80%

Jimmy Calhoun, July 4th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2007, CD, Necroharmonic Productions

Assuming (probably somewhat safely) that you happen to be unfamiliar with the name Goreaphobia, a look at their MA page should be enough to demonstrate their pedigree within the underground metal world. Firstly, these guys were kicking around the East Coast death metal scene as early as 1988, with their first demo surfacing about 2 years later. Secondly, the list of bands their many current and former members have been associated with would, all by itself, make for a decent primer in American extreme metal of the 90's/00's. Of course, none of this would count for much if the resulting music were generic and lackluster. But in Goreaphobia's case, I don't think they have too much to worry about.

It's not so much that their sound is stunningly innovative and original, even for the period - certainly, they're no Timeghoul or Demilich - but on the other hand, they showed up early enough to avoid being pigeonholed as derivative of their genre's pioneers. Rather than taking after such legendary Northeastern acts as Suffocation, Incantation, and Cannibal Corpse (who, remember, first formed up in Buffalo) or, for that matter, somewhat lesser-known notables like Morpheus Descends and Baphomet, they sport a bottom-heavy yet fairly nimble DM style that doesn't sound a great deal like anyone else in particular. There may be at least a passing similarity to fellow Pennsylvania natives Rottrevore, but the instrumental tones and overall approach (less down-tuned and sludgy, more influenced by older thrash metal) are different enough to distinguish Goreaphobia from the latter band. Not to mention that their death-and-evil-obsessed lyrical approach never comes anywhere close to Rottrevore's sociopolitical rants.

Although tracks 1-6 are re-recordings of much older material, they don't tinker much with the original spirit (or production style) of the 1990-91 era demo and 7-inch stuff. The result being that the comp as a whole, bar the somewhat unnecessary live retreads at the end, flows pretty seamlessly without any awkward transitions. If there's anything to complain about, it's that the sound of the older songs has been slightly cleaned up, which takes away something of their morbid, grave-ridden ambience, even if it adds a little more punch to the mix. Either way, though, 'Vile Beast' should serve as a worthy addition to your USDM library. Just YouTube the demo tracks if you want to hear them in their raw, unaltered form.