Vorum
Poisoned Void

Dark Descent records deliver another punishing blast of nasty death metal in the form of the full-length debut from Finnish band, Vorum.   The label has made quite a name for themselves over the past couple of years through a string of high quality releases and commitment to old school values and the uglier side of death metal.  Although my experiences with the label date back to more recent discoveries of stellar albums from Desolate Shrine, Binah, Horrendous and the phenomenal Entrails, the label’s recent track record speaks for itself.    Vorum may not reach the heights of some of their label-mates but they do dish out a solid platter of burly old-school death coupled with enormous doom grooves and a slightly blackened strain.  The whole package is done and dusted within 35-minutes, and considering the density and ferocity of the material, the length is just about perfect.

Vorum share similarities with label-mates and fellow Finns Desolate Shrine; particularly in their shared vision of creating a dank murky atmospheric base to unleash their combo of dark, doomy grooves and fast, distorted sonic violence.   The production doesn’t contain the all-encompassing wall of sound of Desolate Shrine’s latest but it manages to sound relatively clear and organic whilst retaining a raw, unpolished vibe.  The guitars are not as crushing or up front as they should be, but the dark, menacing tone befits the sinister vibe that oozes through the album.  The bass drums sound appropriately pummeling and the cymbals are clear as a bell.  On the slightly negative flipside, the mix sounds a bit out of whack and the drums are mixed too high, overshadowing the impact of the guitars.  It’s not enough to hamper the album too much but the effects are a bit distracting.

Vorum’s vicious attack reeks of a band that plays their uncompromising death metal with attitude, passion and plenty of heart, even if the album lacks a real x-factor.   Their solid musicianship has a touch of technicality within the otherwise blasting furnace of typical brutality.  Guitar solos occasionally weed their way into the concoction, creating a chaotic, haphazard feel amongst the abundance of evil-sounding riffs.  While the vocals are solid but fairly unremarkable, straying on the blackened, mid-range end of the spectrum.   The ingredients are all there but the distinct lack of memorability in the bulk of Vorum’s song-writing holds the album back.  Despite the raging dissonance of their forcefully direct and punishing sound, the shortage of really killer riffs and catchy elements doesn’t bode well for the replay value of the material.   Several of the tracks blast by without leaving much of a memorable imprint and the album suffers as a result.

Vorum are far more effective when they employ a greater dynamic range and play to their strengths; finding the balance between their no-nonsense death metal and earth-shaking grooves.  “Thriving Darkness” gets the combo right and is an absolute monster, arguably the best tune on the album.   Violent drumming and blackened riffing gives way to a potent mid-paced lurch about halfway through the song, as the music takes on a darker, foreboding tone.  “Evil Seed” opens with some flashy cymbal work and churning riffs before rocketing forth with damaging bursts of speed, a chunky groove and devastating climax.  If they could nail down this level of quality for a full album then we might have something more worthwhile on our hands.

As it stands, inconsistencies aside, Vorum deliver a satisfyingly raw and feral example of filth-ridden death metal that succeeds in its bludgeoning execution and dark atmospheric tone but lacks the song-writing chops to push Poisoned Void into elite territory.   Despite its flaws, Poisoned Void is a worthy listen for death metal fiends seeking something unpolished and relentlessly violent.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Luke Saunders
February 19th, 2013

Comments

  1. Commented by: E. Thomas

    as much as i like DDR- this, the Maveth, the Krypts and to some extent the Desolate Shrine are all a bit too samey


  2. Commented by: Noch

    ”The label has made quite a name for themselves over the past couple of years through a string of high quality releases and commitment to old school values and the uglier side of death metal.” Gotta agree with this, but also with the bits of this review that describe the lackluster of *addictive* content on this album. I was personally surprised at how unmemorable this sounded in comparison with other Dark Descent releases. Didn’t manage to get into this even with repeated listens. Perhaps the next album will kick my ass proper, who knows.


  3. Commented by: SRK

    I think the recent DDR albums are all fairly different. This is more a mix of /Altars of Madness/ and Nihilist; Krypts is classic Finnish obscurity; Desolate Shrine is more in the vein of Disembowelment.

    Good review, anyhow: this albums nails the aesthetic, but the songwriting is not quite there.


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