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Overview of the Technical Thrash/Death Catalogue - 97%

bayern, May 7th, 2017

I had problems deciding as to who the finest Polish guitar player was: Jacek Hiro, the frontman of the technical death metal masters Sceptic and the technical melo-thrashers Never; or Artur Grabovski, aka Xan, the man behind the supreme pyrotechnics on the two albums of the progressive speed/thrash outfit Hellfire, and the premier axeman of the band under scrutiny here. After hearing this Decalogue, those problems dropped almost instantly…

Vedonist still managed to do a fairly decent job without Xan on their debut producing a thinly complex, semi-technical blend of thrash and death metal. It was hardly a highlight on a super strong, very high quality scene as the Polish one, but was by no means a derivative, uninspired recording with which the field had started filling up by the mid-00’s. With the arrival of Xan two years later things took a turn to something truly marvellous even within the scope of the very demanding Polish arena.

The album reviewed here is an exemplary exhibition of musical dexterity which sounds absolutely striking even in the midst of the new millennium when surprises coming from the metal world, and music in general, were more of a folklore than tangible moments of reality. It was sad the fact that Hellfire had split up, but Xan has found another vehicle for his prodigious talents, and the lessons in musical magic continue with this new chapter. Not a single second is lost here as evident from the opener “Dehumanized” which starts hurling staccato technical riffage from the get-go before a marginally more linear fast-paced section begins later, taking turns with slower stomping insertions. “Apprehensive Respect” has a very similar virtuoso introduction with dazzling stylish guitars the latter transforming into a speedy crescendo recalling the Hellfire exploits; technical death enters the scene later with nearly Necrophagist-esque pyrotechnics unleashed upon the bemused listener who will also marvel at the exquisite lead guitar work and the sudden superb balladic stroke. “Sleeping in Flame” carries on with the hyper-technical beginnings only that in its case the faster-paced follow-up remains on a highly intricate level with the stop-ang-go breakages making the delivery impossibly busy, the slab of brilliant melodic leads on an atmospheric balladic canvas another testimony of musical mastery.

“Anus Mundi” traditionally shreds with the utmost precision for a start with more relaxed melo-death dashes and Hellfire-esque gallops commencing an “infernal duel” making this cut a riff-fest of the highest order, not without the help of the vortex-like riff “salad” thrown mid-way. “Dead Chimneys Monument” is a jarring unnerving hecticer straightened a bit by a more orthodox speedy “skirmish”, but the stylized riffage remains “surviving” through a few more melodic, epic arrangements. “Patients of the Slaughterhouse” throws in a twisted doomy inauguration the latter stepping aside for the next in line tightly woven technical formula and another melo-death epic configuration; no technicality lost later as the band shred in a cleancut, clinical manner all the way to the gorgeous leads.

“Sonderkommando” acquires almost progressive proportions with ballads and hyper-active intricate decisions “fighting” for domination initially, the latter winning with the help of more aggressive death metal-ish intrusion which admirably keeps the song within the fast-paced parametres for whole 7-min, a feat also “flirting” with a couple of more melodic variations ala later-period Death. “Lux In Tenebris Lucet” tests the audience’s knowledge of Latin (“And the Light Shines in the Darkness”, if anyone’s interested), and apart from that sees the guys shining for the umpteenth time the lead guitarist, the alias Bunos, proving himself every bit as worthy as Xan with more blazing lead strokes added to the fiesta which here is served as a whirlwind of Shrapnel-like guitar pyrotechnics, leads and riffs overlapping each other in a very busy fashion, an obvious “race” taking place, finished in a draw due to the superb technical rifforama wrapping it on, Xan catching up with his wayward colleague with flying colours.

Thrash and death have been thrown in almost equal dozes with the perfect balance achieved between the two, and as an exercise in technical wizardry this album ranks almost as high as Dragon’s “Scream of Death”, Astharoth’s “Gloomy Experiments”, and Atrophia Red Sun’s “Twisted Logic”. It doesn’t have the pioneering, audacious value of the first two, but in the new millennium one was hardly expecting a truly ground-breaking piece of art. The band display their skills with all the vigour and inspiration they can summon, and have managed to carve a niche for themselves even on a strong, highly competitive scene as the Polish one again. Xan’s addition to the line-up was an enormous boost, and with him at play the band had no reasons to worry about the voluminous rivalry, even on a worldwide scale.

Of all the mentioned Polish acts, also including other visionary outfits like Turbo, Wolf Spider and Acrimony, neither managed to produce a second consecutive creative peak save for Astharoth whose three demos that followed were also a fabulous exhibition of pure metal magic. This fact was either due to a split-up (Acrimony, Atrophia Red Sun) or a change in style (Dragon) in order to keep up with the shifting musical landscape; or mere complacency (Turbo, Wolf Spider) once the great work was done, resulting in a couple of more good, but not amazing albums. Vedonist were not rushing it, and wisely took their time before emerging with “A Clockwork Chaos”. The “clockwork” part of the title was very well justified as the music was clicking and clocking meticulously, but in a very dispassionate sterile manner recalling the polymorphic unmelodic chugs of Meshuggah rather than anything the band have created earlier. The “chaos” tag wasn’t really necessary as there was no chaos encountered under any form; this was the carefully calculated listless, robotic side of the thrash/death metal hybrid, akin to what their compatriots Decapitated assembled on “Organic Hallucinosis”, but in a more attractive, more convincing manner. Consequently this opus wasn’t a graceful sequel failing to fully utilize the talents of Xan and Co. also leaving a lot of unrealised potential lurking underneath.

It’s difficult to predict Vedonist’s next step; with a stellar cast like the one they have lined-up, the sky is the limit…literally. Chuggy clockwork panoramas would hardly make them leaders on the field; those have already been provided aplenty. Something else would have to be concocted; something more easily absorbed by the fanbase’s bloodstream, like another revision of the proverbial Ten Commandments of our favourite death/thrash blend, for example.

I don't know what that means, but I like it - 80%

autothrall, March 9th, 2010

This Polish band's debut Awaking to Immortality does not ring a bell, it must have blown directly past me. At any rate, this second album is a thorough display of the band's ability to mesh death and thrash metal with some touches of good old guitar shred.

Much of the death metal comes directly from Vommbath's vocals, carrying a brutal edge to them not unlike countrymen Vader or Dies Irae. The music itself is some pretty technical thrashing metal, occasionally bordering on a frenzy similar to Theory in Practice or Gory Blister (you know, that latter-day style of Death sounding progressive tech metal). The riffs are interesting enough to follow without becoming labyrinthine in their complexity. I enjoyed some of the choppier tracks such as "Apprehensive Respect", "Sleeping in Flame" and the excellent "Sonderkommando" with an amazing speed picked bridge riff dowsed in amazingly timed chugs.

This is all delivered in a razor edge mix, loud on the guitars but not enough that you can't make out anything else. They really are the feature here anyway, though the drumming is likewise impressive. I guess the simplest comparison I can make with this album is to imagine a speedier, tech thrash answer to Vader. Sound like sex? Then you will definitely enjoy this.


A very pleasing release. - 85%

Tricephalos, June 3rd, 2009

Vedonist’s The World Of Reversed Decalogue: A pretty solid album.

I checked this album out because I am a huge fan of technical death metal, and I heard this album was chock full of wailing drums, flailing fingers, and exhaling vocals.

And it’s true, the album certainly does not disappoint.
The first song kicks things in to high gear immediately. No slow, acoustic intro that you hear starting off so many albums today. The first song hits you immediately with double bass on the drums, and a very technical harmonized riff on the guitars, and then it kicks it up a notch and just goes crazy for the remainder of the song.

Not much changes throughout the entire album. You are treated to a guitar solo in almost every song. But the solos aren’t constantly wankery, and although they might not always sound perfectly in key, they are powerful and extremely well placed.

The vocalist isn’t a turn off either, like I find most tech death vocalists to be. Think of his style as a sort of Vader mixed with Hate Eternal. He’s low, he’s fast, and he’s effective.

There really isn’t too much to complain about in this album. If you’re looking for a killer technical death metal album, this one will not disappoint. It has everything you would normally look for, while meshing musicality and technicality without being obnoxious.