Written by: The Administrator
When ye olde Sleeping Village is pillaged and plundered in typical fashion--a frequent occurrence, if we're being honest--the inevitable spoils of the marauders feels fairly obvious: livestock, gold, artifacts, leather-bound tomes containing alchemical secrets. However, we were recently targeted by a new kind of thievery as an HM-2 afflicted crew graced us with their boisterous presence, demanding not the usual fare, but rather the bile from our rotten guts. After a messy and putrid passing of the collection plate, Vomitheist left us, erm, vomit-less. Lacking a certain subtlety, it was a little too noisy to be considered a heist per se, but rather than stew in the unfairness of it all, we slumbering scribes simply decided to give their tunes a spin.
As it turns out, Vomitheist's debut album is a remarkable first outing, an absolute beast of a release. Straddling both a classic buzzsaw Swedish death metal muscularity and a putridity that distinctly reeks of a butchered Autopsy, NekroFvneral nails that delicious cadaver-licking foul factor while remaining a highly listenable--dare I say infectious--affair. This is a dominating debut performance, and Vomitheist have declared themselves a name to watch in very short order indeed.
Alongside the Autopsy-esque grossout quality, there's a little bit of that slimy Black Breath sneer, and the bulky omnipresent heft inherently recalls the likes of Grave, Dismember, et. al. If you're looking for a contemporary point of comparison, promo material references labelmates Crawl and Feral, although today's band in question arguably blends styles a little more seamlessly. However, although Vomitheist often operate on the basis of a by-the-books riff-centric formula familiar to any fan of filthy death metal, there is a significant level of variation across NekroFvneral's breadth.
The thing is littered with potent barbs of crusty deathgrind ferocity, for one. Take the front half of "Horrific Bloodshed" as prime candidate for an injection of snarling aggression. On the other end of the spectrum, there's also a notable application of crushing doom, particularly in the case of the surprisingly hefty "Tormenting Fungal Infestation" and behemothian 12 minute closer “Carnivorous Cult." The latter stretches ever onward in a devolutionary method that holds up surprisingly well in the midst of an album that, at first blush, leans comfortably on the many merits of headbangable mid-paced Swedeath groove. I am always a sucker for the liberal application of doom 'n' gloom, and here, Vomitheist have wisely layered it throughout, avoiding buzzsaw burnout in the process.
The album is so consistent that I had trouble choosing a track to embed--I ultimately went with "Epidemic Disembowelment" simply because it represents the album's many strengths as a whole. However, no tracks here are anything less than Very Excellent. If I'm being unnecessarily critical, interlude "Chapel of Abhorrent Reek and Festering Slime” does feel slightly shoehorned; it is not incorporated into a surrounding track, but rather standing apart from the pack. That said, the inclusion doesn't push the runtime significantly--at a nice 45 minutes, this album is neither too trim nor too girthy, which says something considering the aforementioned length of the closing track. Vomitheist have constructed a listening experience that never feels dull or overwrought.
In my book, Vomitheist have delivered one of the year's better death metal albums, and as a debut stacked against some pretty decent and established competition, that ain't an accomplishment worth sneezing at. NekroFvneral is a truly standout entry in the always-increasing pool of High Quality Death Metal Albums, and, as ye might expect, I highly recommend that death metal fans take immediate note.
Vomitheist - NekroFvneral was released May 19th via Transcending Obscurity Records. Find it here!
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that wakes us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.