All Heads Are Gonna Roll
Review by Felix on June 29, 2023.
Tina Turner is dead and honestly speaking, musically this is no loss. Humanly, it certainly looks different, but that doesn't matter here. Either way, one of her song titles came to my mind when I heard the first tones of the opening title track. In terms of death metal, Vomitory are simply the best. Although I have to admit that my horizons are limited in this restricted subgenre.
Back in 1984, Rob Halford (not Tina Turner) sang about how some heads are gonna roll, but here we jump headfirst into the deadly genre and therefore it is a matter of honour that “some” heads are not enough. The reborn Swedish institution decapitates everybody. I will never understand the strange aesthetics of their stylistic niche and the video for the title track sucks. But the music… fat and feisty an express train rolls over the listener. Right from the start, Vomitory embody maximum brutality, gruesome mercilessness and hellish speed. They still have the instinct for the most effective combinations of low-tuned riffs, flattening lines and a hinge of morbid harmonies that build something like a melody from time to time. Moreover, the each and every song shines with an immaculate flow. Don’t worry, the smoothness is never at the expense of the material’s violence. Vomitory just have some recipes, formulas or whatever that enable them to find the key for the creation of songs that are far out of reach for their competitors. Forget its (and all other) lyrics, but 'Raped, Strangled, Sodomized, Dead' marks a prime example concerning the successful mix of massive guitars, beats and a growling voice on the one hand and an extremely catchy yet brute on the other. Even the jagged instrumental part with its blast beats serves the flow of the song perfectly.
Vomitory haven’t modified their style. This is still pure Swedish death metal of the old school, only very small influences of other styles are identifiable. Okay, the mega-aggressive 'Decrowned' offers a Napalm Death part (but without pig squeals) after the first verse and the outstanding, partly “melodic” 'Ode To The Meat Saw', the title is a case of unintentional comedy, sends very discreet greetings to Bolt Thrower at the beginning. Flickering guitar lines create a deadly groove, while the intensity grows stronger and stronger. The chorus opens the gates and gives the song an even better aroma. Not to mention the melancholic yet tear-free guitar lines after the second chorus. However, all songs make a very good or even absolutely excellent contribution to the album with their grindcore-affine thunderstorms, their generic metallic, driving guitar lines and rhythmic precision. And Vomitory so not retreat a millimetre. They deliver top quality during the entire album. Don’t be fooled by the almost cosy first sequences of the closer. 'Beg For Death' turns into another brutal, straightforward beast, driven by a compact rhythm section. It’s great to experience how the maximum density leads to maximum pressure.
The flawless production adds the final touch. No death metal ingredient is missing, neither the low-tuned, voluminous guitars nor anything else. The vocals of Erik Rundqvist still sound brutal and the technical level of the musicians seems close to perfection. No doubt Tina Turner's miniskirt would fly off if she could listen to this fanatic comeback. I don't wear such a skirt, to the delight of my neighbours, but I am also extremely impressed. Maybe Bolt Thrower were on a par with Vomitory, but if we only take active bands into consideration, these Swedes (and, by the way, my girlfriend) are what, Tina? Simply the best, a distant voice says.
Rating: 9.4 out of 10957
Review by Vladimir on May 27, 2023.
Finally, it’s time for some good old “Svensk Döds Metall“ and I will be covering none other than Vomitory from Sweden! Vomitory is a band that I caught up a bit later from Sweden’s rich catalog of classic death metal bands, even though I have already been quite familiar with bands like Nihilist/Entombed, Unleashed, Grave, Dismember, At The Gates etc. Nevertheless, I did end up being very much a fan of this band thanks to their bloody, raw and savage death metal sound which still continues to rip flesh to this very day, even with their ninth full-length All Heads Are Gonna Roll, released on May 26th via Metal Blade Records.
The famous savage flesh-ripping sound of Vomitory is still very much present on this album, expressed through aggressive death-thrashing tremolo riffs, heavy metal-like guitar solos, double-bass drumming, d-beats and blast beats, and Erik Rundqvist’s guttural growls. Although you’re able to quickly familiarize with the album’s overall template, you will still come across rhythmic changes in songs, where fast tremolo picking and blast beats might switch to mid-tempo drumming and downpicking before switching back. To add icing to the cake, there are instances of hardcore-influenced moments with punk/d-beat drumming and riffing you’ll come across in 'The Deepest Tomb', 'Raped, Strangled, Sodomized, Dead', 'Dead Man Stalking' and 'Beg For Death', which add nicely to the blast beats that serve as a follow up. Although this might be just something that only I experienced, there are times when I felt that certain tremolo riffs in songs would come very close to sounding melodic. Although that would have been interesting to hear, I think that personally Vomitory would definitely not even dare to do so because it would automatically stray off from their musical path for the past 30 years. The songwriting in general is pretty simple and straightforward, but still on point, never being anticlimactic or lifeless where a certain section in a song could have been completely left out or at least should have been better thought-out. The sound production for All Heads Are Gonna Roll is very high quality but still damn heavy. The guitars and bass, along with the drums and vocals are altogether really powerful and definitely on the verge of blowing your speakers.
Although I am personally very much attached to their classics such as Raped In Their Own Blood, Redemption and Revelation Nausea, which I would still prefer listening over this album, I think that All Heads Are Gonna Roll is overall a very headbanging and crushing album that is not kidding or bullshitting like other death metal bands tend to do in this day and age. Vomitory clearly knows how to “talk the talk” and “walk the walk”, and yet their ninth album proves that they are still angry and bloodthirsty as before. Whatever people may think of this album, you can’t deny that Vomitory sticks to their death metal formula which hasn’t let anyone down or caused them to lose interest in the band.
Rating: 8.4 out of 10957