Vomitory
Blood Rapture

All hail albums covers that have heads on spikes!

Vomitory are a well-known but cult veteran death metal band from Sweden and have released this year’s equivalent to Fleshcrawl‘s Soulskinner. Pure old school unabashed death metal; no frills, no intro, no atmospherics and you know what? It kicks ass.

Blood Rapture is Vomitory‘s fourth album and it sees them continuing with a relentlessly throwback style of death metal. Not as purely aggressive or brutal as the new wave of gore/grindcore, but enough references to dismemberment, flames and blood is appealingly distasteful. Where Vomitory struck me as a little unique is their use of more traditional deathcore power riffs rather than constant hyper-blasts. The riffs on display are rooted in the Swedish scene of the early ’90s that was based on the old Discharged, wholly mimicked by Entombed and countless others. Vomitory, however, add their own deathly twist. That is to say this album has a distinct early grindcore feel much akin to mid early Napalm Death, Righteous Pigs, and Terrorizer. That’s style has been carried on today most noticeably by Lock Up and Nasum.

The riffs are punk fast, and they are innately memorable. It’s simple, brute power that’s offers more than the unadventurous and stagnant Bludgeon and Catastrophic. The songs themselves aren’t too imaginative or technical, maybe more so than Fleshcrawl, but much like Bolt Thrower or Benediction, the expected blunt-force smash is wholly gratifying in its unsophisticated charm. It’s hard to break down individual tracks — all are equally decent — as none are what I would call stellar.

One track I could consider a standout is “Eternity Appears,” with its solid …For Victory build. It’s also home to twisting midsection and solo that’s lacking in the other eight songs. “Nailed, Quartered and Consumed” seems to be one of the more aggressive tracks, with a distinctly crusty main riff culled straight from Purity Dilution. The guitars pack a wallop in their Sunlight-lite grind. Drummer Tobias Gustafson pounds at a steady pace and occasionally blastbeats along to a classic three-chord riff, offering intensity, as if to remind us Vomitory are indeed a true death metal band. The closing title track offers some variety. The crawling opening sustains a safe pace throughout before charging into a familiar gallop/blast combo to shut the door on 33 minutes of thoroughly enjoyable old school death metal.

Metal Blade seems to be a museum of sorts for old school non-conforming death metal acts, but as with the dinosaurs, bands of this nature may die out. I hope not, as Vomitory are the whole reason I listen to death metal in the first place; it’s audio escapism that doesn’t entail too much digestion of convoluted musical ideas. And while I enjoy bands like Theory In Practice and Scholomance, I sometimes need to just listen and not think. I could either watch a Sci-fi “B” movie or a Discovery Channel documentary of the Ebola virus. I’d love to see both, but the “B” movie wins out most times. Bands like Vomitory, Benediction and Bolt Thrower are those “B” movies, so if you’re the kind of person that owns every album from the above and have a large section for Sweden (1990-1995) in the collection, you could do no wrong with this gratuitous slab of unforgiving death metal

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 21st, 2002

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