Friday, January 25, 2013
Vorum: Poisoned Void
Thinking back to the review of Lightning Swords of Death, I am reminded of the distinguishing factors when review melodically opaque albums by bands like Vorum. It also makes me think about how confining the death metal genre is. Within those confines I think this Finnish band does what it can. This is their first full length album and is pretty solid in more ways than one. It delivers I very solid punch, they execute what they do extremely well. What they do is very influenced by "Altars of Madness" era Morbid angel, though not so much it the soloing dept. So by that count we can debate are their blackened elements, when I first heard Morbid Angel, I would have thought them to. E heavier than what was considered black metal at the time...Celtic Frost, Venom, Bathory, Merciful fate and I know you want me to say Sodom...but they were thrash and to be considered black metal back then you had to sing about worshipping the devil or enough occult references to fool everyone ...see Tom Warrior.
So Vorum takes me back to when those lines were blurred and Tampa pumped put the heaviest music out there. The production value tells me they are looking forward not back trying to get an 80s sound. From the opening blast of "Impetious fires" the tone is established they are flying at ramming speed. The vocals are decipherable to those fluent in rrrrraaarrr, the fingers fleet though not very experimental in the soloing. It's pretty easy to sell me on the first song of any heavy album worth a damn just by my appreciation of the aggression. After that though it's ok now show me what else you can do with the answer more often than not being ...uh, not much more.
The groove "Death stains" starts with hints they might have more up their spiked sleeves. The rest of the song plows ahead in a one dimensional nature until the last minute slows down. However they succumb to the urge of just doing the one thing. the middle solo section of "Rabid blood"reminds me of old Cancer or early Sentenced. Though it makes me wonder if these guys sit around just trying to write riffs that sound good to solo over.
This drummer worships vintage Pete the Feet , in the way he comes out of his fills evident on "Thriving Darkness" the groove midway through that one works but these guys are having a hard time selling me entire songs went I sit down to really listen to it , when it's blaring in the background it's fine, but also means indistinguishable. "Evil seed " really has some outstanding cymbal work, I haven't really heard the bass player on this yet though when I listen I can sense where his pulse is. The straight forward snare hit show up but the gallop cater them makes me forget.
The growl placement tends to fall haphazardly ,rather than forming any type of hop, though there is some chanting of song titles to make a chorus and " Evil Seed " has a cool wink to Slayer in the riff department. "In Obscurity Revealed" begins to prove my theory you have to wait til midway through the songs for them to pull out the really good riffs.
"Dance of Heresy" the tempo changes for the typical fast for the get go but last thirty seconds. There's a groove in the third act and some cool accents here and there but most of the death metal conventions are adhered to closely. The opening riff of the closer "Poisoned Void" let's things get a little dark rather than fifty shades of abrasive gray. This is also e most technical song on the album by my guesstimating. Live I'm unsure how this would come across, we want to believe louder is better but I hAve been to more than my fair share of death shows where it's a booming mess.
I'll give this one a 6.5, they have chosen to work within a restrictive sub genre and managed to catch my ear with a riff or two in each song,but could benefit from more dynamics and even some ambiance floating some where, but hey I can go back to listening to black metal now and get my fair share of that there.