Vehemence
Forward Without Motion

So back in 2004 I compared Vehemence’s God Was Created to Entombed’s Left Hand Path, granted, a brash comparison by a relatively younger , inexperienced me. However, I do stand by the fact the album is fantastic, and it remains one of my top 25 albums of all time. And the track “She Never Noticed Me” is still one of my very favorite death metal songs ever, over 10 years and countless albums/reviews later.

Vehemence were one of those flash in the pan bands whose star shone brightly but burned out quickly after two well received  albums on Metal Blade that delivered a more brutal and lyrically challenging take on melodic death metal, then poooof! done. However, since 2007 there have been rumblings of a reunion, and even a song, “Jim The Prophet” surfaced a few years ago teasing fans for a reunion that never fully materialized until now.

Well, here it is. 10 years in the making,with relatively little fanfare outside the fanbase and band’s circles,  no big label and a pure, honest record that 4/5ths ( guitarist Jon Chavez is replaced by Kyle Moeller) of the God Was Created/Helping the World to See Line Up has slogged away on for the better part of a  decade. And you can tell. From the production (finally perfected 10 years later!) to the lyrics and every note, riff, growl and solo oozes emotion and energy that’s been brewing for 10 years.

As with with “For the Masses” from Gorefest’s glorious reunion album La Muerte, opener “I Don’t Want to Look Inside Anymore” signals the band’s return with a truly rousing opening solo to die for and sets in motion a rampant, triumphant, epic 8 minute number that’s clearly the album’s flagship track and delivers everything that made the band special. Nathan Gearhart’s vocals are more raw and honest, Bjorn Dannov’s solo and lead work laces this and every song with ear ripping melody. “Imagining the Loss” follows with a more direct, choppy, brutal number showing the band hasn’t softened at all.

“Murdered By The Earth” returns to a more melodic strut, while dealing with the topic of the earth fighting back against humanity’s infection. It reminded me of “Spirit of the Solider” from Helping the World to See with its sumptuous leads, emotive main riff and acoustic fade out. “Jim the Prophet” a track that’s been around since 2007 or so shows its age, but is still a Vehemence track. “In The Shadows We Dwell” is a furious, busy track before its more relaxed ending. Then you get “A Dark Figure in the Distance” a dark, patient eight minute brooder that’s fits the song title perfectly. “It’s All My Fault” returns to a more urgent pace with a deadly hack and stab thrash attack.

The album’s other real standout, and stylistic call back to God Was Created is “She Fucks likes Shes Still Alive”, an ode to necrophilia, with sweeping solos, big chugs and little romantic acoustic bridge. Lyrically, “There Are so Many Reasons to Give up on Religion” Gearhart continues where God Was Created left off, ending the album with yet another strong, complete track that cements the band’s return, though it ends the album a bit abruptly. And while there are ties to prior albums, the band was smart not to just make God Was Created II, but mature and develop their sound as gracefully as their age and hairlines

The album title Forward Without Motion is significant.Vehemence are here now, have moved on and matured as people and as a band from their past but are still the same. Their music speaks to that. It’s  intelligently brutal yet melodic without being wimpy, and while not a high profile comeback like some other bands that should be hanging it up, its a fine, fine return and one I hope continues past this album.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 2nd, 2015

Comments

  1. Commented by: Zach

    Saw these guys open for Akercocke back in the day. They were incredible! As were Akercocke. I’m really happy these guys are back.The new album is killer! One of my faves this year.cheers!!


  2. Commented by: Juan Manuel Pinto

    Nice review and glad to see Vehemence back. What´s a bug chug?


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