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Vomit - Still Rotting - 40%

ConorFynes, April 10th, 2012

Although two of this band's members have the distinction of being in an early incarnation of Mayhem, death metal outfit Vomit has remained buried in obscurity. However, to be fair, most death metal bands who 'make it', make it past the demo stage. Regardless, the handful of garage recordings we have from Vomit have inspired a sort of cult following. 'Still Rotting', then, is the compilation of all of these cassette demos released by Vomit in their teenage years. Each member of Vomit has presumably moved on to better things, but 'Still Rotting' should offer a mildly enjoyable, raw and rough dose of the 'classic' sound many death metallers keep on the lookout for.

For the sake of a compilation, 'Still Rotting' does a good job of covering Vomit's limited catalogue, and even showcases their development from an ultra raw death metal act to a slightly more focused, ultra raw death metal act. For what we now call classic death metal, Vomit takes a more punk-infused angle, which shows up most profoundly in Kittil Kittilsen's adolescent snarl. Musically speaking, Vomit shares the same raw intensity that made Death's 'Scream Bloody Gore' a hit, but Vomit falls short on the basis of its near-inaudible production. As one might come to expect from an extreme metal demo of the period, any finer element of the composition or performance that may have been there is obscured by a garage recording that's most definitely feeling the strain of the band's volume.

The digital edition of 'Still Rotting' sometimes gives the listener several versions of the same song, from the different rehearsals the band recorded. Normally this would make a compilation more of a strain to sit through from start to finish, but it does lend a nice sense of context and 'development' as Vomit refined their craft. Although things are raw and unfavourably noisy throughout, there is a noticeable improvement in Vomit's performance on the later tracks. Although Vomit's sound is promising, the band would quit (and revive as a punk act) before they ever managed to rein in their sound. 'Still Rotting' is a mildly interesting collection of Norwegian underground riffs and adolescent male anger, but without that 'payoff' and chance to hear what Vomit would have sounded like fully realized, I cannot help but feel a little disappointed.