St. Paul, Minnesot'as True Metal Record Store (RIP as of Dec. 24, 2015)
Hello all! After a refreshing week off and despite past promises we’re right back in Sweden with masters of pounding hatred VOMITORY, because I’ve apparently been sapped of all creative thinking in my absence.
Ha, but not really. I hope you’ll forgive me that the preponderance of great V bands I’ve already covered — VORE, VASTUM and VANHELGD among them — left me with VOMITORY’s 1996 debut gem Raped in Their Own Blood as the obvious choice to highlight on this fine Death Metal Monday. That they’re from Sweden should be considered mere coincidence, though I’m sure there will be no complaints after a good listen or two.
VOMITORY only very recently broke up, and despite an amazingly long six-album stint on domestic Metal Blade Records, I don’t believe they ever quite received their due attention in America. To be fair, many of those six albums sounded pretty similar, and their limited live experience in the US didn’t do them any favors in terms of piquing fan interest. Much like Germany’s FLESHCRAWL, I assume VOMITORY sold just enough units stateside and relied on the strength of their European following to make their relationship with Metal Blade mutually beneficial for as long as it lasted.
Before the Metal Blade years VOMITORY produced arguably their two finest outputs, including the sophomore album Redemption for Fadeless Records in 1999. Each album featured a different vocalist, neither of which continued with the band through their long period on Metal Blade post-2000, and each of whom I think brought more personality to the table than the rather humdrum growls of longtime bassist/vocalist Erik Rundkvist. Ultimately the edge has to go to Ronnie “Ripper” Olson aka Nasty Ronnie on the debut, for both the fantastic name and the sadistic rawness that complements the rest of the Raped in Their Own Blood atmosphere so completely.
Enough chit-chat: time for PURE DEATH
Although VOMITORY were kicking around the Swedish underground in demo stage while the ENTOMBED thing wore out it’s welcome, there’s plenty to separate this barnburner to their brethren constantly streaming into Sunlight Studio. What we get is a distilled essence of death metal: American-style brutality (think the SLAYER-derived works from Florida), the punk-like scathing rawness of mid-period BATHORY or AUTOPSY, and a touch of the famous melodic grace and moodiness of their countrymen.
This potent mix goes a long way to explaining why I favor the debut over the later material, where the consistent blasting attack lacks the attitude and variation to sustain multiple satisfying listens. Some highlights here: the opening two tracks, “Nervegasclouds” (great title) and the title track, are filthy downtuned death metal menaces, as are later tracks like “Pure Death” and “Inferno.” The closer “Thorns” has some thunderous mid-paced grit among the blasting, reminiscent of some of the more epic tracks from DISMEMBER’s Indecent and Obscene. Hidden within and throughout are some blackened lofty melodies, which are showcased perfectly on “Through Sepulchral Shadows,” a track taken from their excellent 1994 demo of the same name. Bonus video below!
In case you still need an answer for VOMITORY’s motivations, the chorus from the albums title track has the answer. Remember that it was 1996 when this was recorded, a particularly weak period for the genre, and it should all come together:
Sodomy, desecrate the weak
Bloodbath, orgasmic hate
Adrenaline, a total revenge carnage
death metal traitors die
Raped in their own blood
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