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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great demos
Don't expect to hear anything like Dechristianize. This release is an Vital Remains demo compilation.

The Black Mass (1991) 7"

Excruciating Pain (demo) (1990)

Reduced to Ashes (demo) (1989)

Yes it's worth the price. Sounds like a cross between Blasphemy and Sepultura(Morbid Visions). Some great riffs on these demos. Best songs...
Published on February 13, 2006 by ajorani

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5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Die-Hard Fans Only!
I really dug Vital Remains' last album "Dechristianized" for its mix of precise brutality, melody, and clean production. I've listened to death metal since back in the day where only a few dudes knew anything about it. And this album - this collection of old (ancient-sounding BS) from Vital Remains beginnings - is an abomination to everything metal has accomplished in the...
Published on March 6, 2006 by Shane C.


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great demos, February 13, 2006
By 
ajorani (Danbury, CT United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Horrors of Hell (Audio CD)
Don't expect to hear anything like Dechristianize. This release is an Vital Remains demo compilation.

The Black Mass (1991) 7"

Excruciating Pain (demo) (1990)

Reduced to Ashes (demo) (1989)

Yes it's worth the price. Sounds like a cross between Blasphemy and Sepultura(Morbid Visions). Some great riffs on these demos. Best songs are "Of Pure Unholyness", "Human Sacrifice", "Resurrected", "Excrutiating Pain".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars demonic demos !, February 27, 2008
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This review is from: Horrors of Hell (Audio CD)
This is for everybody, not just the die-hards. The music on this from the opening 1991 is accessible as V.R. gets and the earlier stuff wont scare anybody away either. A good compilation of a great act's humble beginnings. Of course they have grown into a monstrous entity, but you can still hear a bunch of musicians oozing creativity. With all the line-up changes people should enjoy every variation of the V.R. This music and the vision is way too good to nit-pick and give it 1 star, how dare you !!I gave 4 stars because the last section from '89/'88 does run out of steam. You got to love 1991 sessions.You need this if you have the others, worth a listen for all metalheads..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure gold, May 8, 2011
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This review is from: Horrors of Hell (Audio CD)
Early Vital Remains is one of my favourite bands, I consider "into Cold Darkness" one of the best Death Metal releases ever. I finally got around to this one and saw conflicting reviews, some saying great some absolutely rubishing this slab. I'm for the former. The first two songs are from their first album, which I also love, but they have obviously recorded these versions before. When I put the disc in the intro spun me out,(evil!) but the sound was crushing! The guitars sounding like slabs of meat getting pummelled as did the drums behind them. And if you've heard Jeff Gruslin's vocals before, this is right up there for his standard. Just for these two songs I would have paid happily. As it was, the two early demo's were a treat as I'd never heard any of these songs before. You could definitely hear the development from demo to demo and the songs weren't quite the length and depth of their later works, more basic Death Metal songs. The liner notes were also very interesting to read as I've found that there isn't a hell of a lot of info on this band anywhere. It's a mad buzz when you think that you've exhausted a band's catalogue only to find their unreleased earlier works. Once again, if someone whines about the production I will not acknowledge their existence.
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4.0 out of 5 stars V.R. (re)release their Horror upon the world, September 21, 2012
This review is from: Horrors of Hell (Audio CD)
After years spent watching them rifling through the 7-inch bins at local record stores and pawning up huge money on eBay, guitarist Tony Lazaro finally did something that the hardcore Vital Remains fans had long wanted him to. He reissued the band's first three debut E.P.'s and demos on one disc, "Horrors Of Hell" in 2006. There are two very surprising things about this re-release: a) it favors the black metal-end of the blackened death metal spectrum; and b) it boasts a bass-heavy mix (every track also features strong, downtuned bass lines). That said, though, V.R.'s world-renowned musical brew largely sounds the same, here, as it does on later releases. And if there is one thing that is not at all surprising about "Horrors Of Hell," it is that there is plenty of solid (if not quite as spectacular as later Vital Remains works, "Dechristianize" or "Icons Of Evil") riffing in every song.

Working in reverse chronological order, the album begins with the two tracks that comprised Vital Remains' 1991's single "Black Mass," "Of Pure Unholyness" and "Frozen Terror." Both of which are blistering cuts of inexorably brutal, Morbid Angel-worshipping black/death metal with smoking, steamrolling guitars (including, in the case of the latter song, blazing solos), blasting drums, grumbling bass, and Celtic Frost/Hellhammer-inspired shrieking vocals. The next five songs, taken from 1990's "Excruciating Pain" demo, almost play like full-on, groove-oriented thrash. (The most memorable of which, "Fallen Angels," could be a "Reign In Blood"-era Slayer b-side, with its Dave Lombardo-styled cymbal rides, intricate chainsaw guitar riffing, and fast, shredding, trade-off solos.) A few remnants reminiscent of latter-day Vital Remains songs do surface, here, though, such as the doomy breakdowns in "Resurrected," and the pummeling blast beats in "Excruciating Pain." The album closes out with perhaps the best set of songs, 1989's "Reduced To Ashes" (the first-ever demo recorded by V.R.). Even upon remastering, these six songs still sound like a horribly under-produced basement recording of a band possessing more enthusiasm than instrumental skill. The end result is a very primal, raw, and sloppy sound, with the guitars sounding dirty, and the drums sounding like they're in a cardboard box. Standouts of this batch include the very Possessed/early Sepultura-inspired piece of early blackened-tinged death metal (Vital Remains' title track); the Sarcofago and Repulsion-reminiscent near-grind of "Smoldering Burial"; and "More Brains" (which boasts propulsive, muscular riffing, catchy, shouted vocals, Necrophagia-esque gory lyrics, and several small bass solos trading off with screaming, Slayer-esque guitar solos.)

In short, "Horrors Of Hell" is one heckuva stopgap release in that it is not essential for casual Vital Remains fans. But if you are a diehard fan who is looking for something to satisfy your craving until the band gets around to kicking out another full-length, what more are you waiting for?!
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5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Die-Hard Fans Only!, March 6, 2006
By 
Shane C. (Portland, Oregon) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Horrors of Hell (Audio CD)
I really dug Vital Remains' last album "Dechristianized" for its mix of precise brutality, melody, and clean production. I've listened to death metal since back in the day where only a few dudes knew anything about it. And this album - this collection of old (ancient-sounding BS) from Vital Remains beginnings - is an abomination to everything metal has accomplished in the last several years!!

The cheeseball dime-a-dozen riffs, ungodly horrible production (I can't imagine what the demos sounded like before they were "remastered"), sloppy playing, and hilarious "snarling vocals" add up to a hell of an experience. I guess if I was 11 years old and had never heard death metal, this could possibly be cool -- but it would have to be 1986. These guys seemed to be behind their time even in the early days, why would they want to show this to everyone with a 2006 release of such rubbish? Just my opinion, but this one really rubbed me the wrong way.
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Horrors of Hell
Horrors of Hell by Vital Remains (Audio CD - 2006)
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