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So heavy it hurts
on December 22, 2007
Don't like Linkin Park's new album? Fed up with what you hear on rock radio nowadays? Then you would do very well to spend some quality time with the fifth album from Sweden's Vomitory. As you should expect from a band with a name like that, this year's "Terrorize Brutalize Sodomize" is predominantly a brutal/Swedish death metal album, but it mixes in plenty of thrash and grindcore elements, as well. (In other words, think Bolt Thrower meets Dismember meets Napalm Death meets Obituary meets Vital Remains.) Needless to say, it is, more-or-less, a forty-one-minute-long, extremely fast and almost unspeakably brutal maelstrom that abuses your eardrums with murderous, hyper-kinetic blast beats, furious, mammoth-sized riffs, and disturbing, from-the-gut bellows. I am undetermined as to whether or not this is the heaviest piece of music released this year (because it does have quite a lot of competition), but it sure comes close. Indeed, this one is a monster, folks!
On the surface, "Terrorize Brutalize Sodomize" may appear to be just an overwhelmingly loud, monotonous, and chaotic wall of white noise. But closer inspection will reveal there is a heck of a lot more to this album than that, and Vomitory have an actual method to their madness (believe it or not!), like amazing, technically flawless, and uber-tight musicianship, actual standout tracks (which are usually rare in albums of this genre), ample tempo variety, and (gasp!) yes, even a scosh of melody. The ball gets rolling very quickly with the two album openers, "Eternal Trail Of Corpses" and "Scavenging The Slaughtered," which combine to make a one-two punch so vicious that it could peel the paint of a wall and melt the skin right off your face. The former is highlighted by an Earth-quaking rhythm, jackhammer riffs, and a surprisingly melodic shredding solo; and the latter features scalding, bulldozing, abrasively grinding guitars, an old-school Slayer-esque solo, and excellent, pummeling blasts from drummer Tobias Gustafsson.
But then Vomitory begin to mix things up a little. The title track breaks up the monotony and does well by balancing a mid-tempo (well, kinda) verse with a massive, pile driving, malicious, and completely off-the-rails chorus. "The Burning Black" works similarly, with a restrained tempo, terrifically hooky swinging thrash beat, and Bolt Thrower-inspired streamlined chainsaw guitar leads opening the song before seguing into thunderous choruses. The next three tracks find the band's thrash influence coming into play. "Defiled And Inferior" (which begins and ends with ridiculous blastfests and has a huge breakdown in the middle), and "Whispers From The Dead" (which has a couple of nice, epic melodic licks and - get this! - an actually catchy and memorable chorus) boast crunching, churning, and sometimes even galloping, Obituary-esque riffs. On that same note, track six, "March Into Oblivion," is backed by a mid-tempo groove, blistering, Bolt Thrower-by-way-of-European thrash riffing, a prominent, grumbling bass line, and raw, cracking drums that make you think your head is stuffed inside an oil can. A melodic solo is also tucked into the mix here, but it's buried in the background so many listeners might not even notice it.
The remainder of the songs, however, are not like this. "Heresy" and "Flesh Passion" pull out all the stops, rip from start to finish, and effortlessly crush everything in its path. They are both insane, dizzying, smoke-inducing riff hurricanes with breakneck guitar shredding and inhumanly talented, lightning fast trapkit annihilation. Closer "Cremation Ceremony" is equally as fast, skull-shattering, and chaotic, but its difference is it occasionally pauses for abrupt, and almost doomy breakdowns.
The bottom line? "Terrorize Brutalize Sodomize" is an absolute must-hear for extreme metalists worldwide. And if you buy only two (pure) death metal albums this year, make sure they are Behemoth's "The Apostasy" and Vomitory's "Terrorize Brutalize Sodomize."