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bleep bloop - 50%

Noktorn, June 19th, 2011

Vedonist reminds me heavily of another irritating Polish tech death project: Sceptic. Both are sort of prog-edged, Arsis-like tech death bands where guitar pyrotechnics come before any and all songwriting concerns, both have a clear influence from late Death, and both are better in theory than in practice. It's not that Vedonist is despicably bad or anything- I just feel that they play in this tiny little niche of a style that blew its load pretty quickly after inception. Rather similar to Illogicist, Vedonist has basically one mode of songwriting, and if you're not down with it, you're shit out of luck.

This is an entirely guitar-oriented album; I think you could seriously remove the rest of the instruments and barely impact the overall sound. They're pushed way forward in the production and are constantly banging out needling, technical tremolo riffs that never seem to quit dancing up and down the fretboard. Unlike Sceptic, there's a slight but palpable thrash influence to Vedonist's sound, which comes out in very occasional, momentary passages of more straightforward riffing (somewhat in the Vader style,) but for the most part this is music entirely based around fast thrash beats, crazy riffs, and a rather monotonous, barking vocal performance. The tracks twist and turn with the movements of the riffs, which tend to be rather noisy and squeaky without being wholly atonal- they're melodic, but not in the manner you would describe as such typically. They sound overtly proggy but without the weird time signatures or particular musical accomplishment apart from the musicians having shredded in their bedroom for a decade before this was recorded. Prog for dumb people? Nah, that's Arsis.

Of course, with the mastery of their particular style of flash-death (basically made for fans of Quinta Essentia) comes a complete lack of variation which ultimately kneecaps 'Awaking to Immortality' for me. The sort of needling, bleeping guitarwork that makes up the bulk of this album is okay in small doses, but Vedonist quite literally doesn't do anything else apart from very, very occasional diversions into more straightforward riffing. It might be impressive for technicality-obsessed guitarists, but for me it's just a headache- none of the riffs are really composed beyond being difficult to play or follow and the phoned-in performances from the rest of the band make the real quality of this music pretty transparent.

Consider this the 'Alice in Hell' of death metal. It's neat as a tech demo, but try and remember anything that happened on it after the disc is back in its case.