Primal Massacre

With all the metalcore suddenly gracing Metal Blade’s roster, it’s sure nice to see this veteran act still on the label and still churning out quality if rudimentary, but ultimately fun old school death metal. The easy thing to do would be cut and paste either their Revelation Nausea or Blood Rapture reviews and change the song titles, but that wouldn’t do this seemingly ageless band justice.

Lost amid the initial swarm of Swedish death metal, Vomitory just keep plugging away even though the likes of Dismember, Grave and Unleashed garner the attention, Vomitory have been more consistent than Unleashed, more productive than Grave (no 6 year hiatus), and honestly deserve as much praise as Dismember, a band as equally adept at sticking to their stylistic guns. Lyrically, Vomitory will never be a Mensa candidate as they are still stuck in the “blood, skulls and demons” visages of yore, but their Napalm Death meets Dismember style is infectiously satisfying, especially in an age where death metal is still striving for speed limits and shattering complexity boundaries.

With a classic grindcore take on deathly power chords, Vomitory could be construed as catchy, the same way Harmony Corruption and World Downfall was, but of course delivered with a slight Swedish buzz and old school veneer that makes them nostalgic for many reasons. Not as pure Sunlight Studio sounding as Fleshcrawl’s (a band who I put in the same underappreciated yet stubbornly old school category as Vomitory) most recent effort but still retaining enough buzz to please fans of that sound. Vomitory’s stylistically different sound is less abrupt and intense and contains and fuzzed out punk laidback-ness within their oozing, driving sound. The reoccurring power chords are delightfully repetitive, due to their brazen old school-y-ness. I mean “Autopsy Extravaganza” is a curdling example of Vomitory’s style that despite its roots, is neither a mere Dismember clone or unabridged noise.

The gravelly roar of Erik Rundqvist (his last vocal effort for the band) never changes throughout the 10 tracks, and neither does the music; no interludes or atmospherics, not even a lumbering slow track, just pure unadulterated churning and discernable death metal. The heaving mid section of “Gore Apocalypse” might be the albums only true breather, but it’s a brief respite between the savage album opening title track and the militaristic salvo of “Stray Bullet Kill.” The songs each tread pretty similar paths; a few single guitar rendered bars of the main riffs before the rest of the mayhem kicks in, it’s truly retro both stylistically and delivery wise. “Demons Divine” offers the albums only other true slowdown, buts it’s in the middle of the songs solid and familiar pacing.

The altogether pace of the album seems to never tire, despite the recurring nature of the riffs. The opening riff of “Retaliation” is just as pleasing as “Gore Apocalypse,” and features a bruising mid section. In fact each song could be interchangeable with none really breaking any sort of stylistic mould or treading more adventurous territory, but you know what? It’s still mighty satisfying. The album’s two last tracks “Cursed Revelations” and “Chainsaw Surgery” seem slightly more urgent and volatile, and end the album on an energetic high note.

Probably not as good as Raped in Their Own Blood or Redemption but better than Blood Rapture, Primal Massacre is an aptly named addition to the bands stubborn discography, and without the fanfare of the “comeback” or “return to form” label that Dismember and Unleashed claim, Vomitory quietly seethe in the shadows with the same level of competence as their peers.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 20th, 2004


  1. Commented by: Old Pick Axe

    This album slaughters the living. A must hear for fans of true, no-frills, Honest-To-Satan death metal.

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