Monday, October 26, 2015
Vehemence : "Forward Without Motion"
Looking for some shredding mixed in with your death metal this is a guitar players album for sure. The drummer is no slouch either but the focus in more on the sweep arpeggios. It is pretty melodic in the post- Spiritual Healing or Heartwork way. "Imagining the Loss" is catchier riff wise and while the opening tune is not bad it was what you expect from melodic death metal. Meeting all expectations , but only exceeding them when it came to the guitar solos and songs are not really the vehicles for guitar solos to anyone but the nerds analyzing them.They turn into more of a thrash band on the third song "Murdered By the Earth". There is even a bright power metal like melody to the guitar riff in some parts where it sounds like a death metal singer just happens to be growling over this. The double bass becomes almost obligatory much in the same way blast beats are for black metal bands, despite the cool strummed outro.
It's strange to think most of this band was in Abigail Williams until you get to "Jim the Prophet" which is the first song that baring the echoes of their former band. The vocals take on a more conventional lower death metal growl. The music speeds up rather haphazardly around the steady vocal line midway into the song before the redeeming chug comes in. The solo section gets a little long wind but it is bookended by two cool riffs. To be called "In the Shadows We Dwell" this song isn't very dark as it races along. The vocals pick an interesting pattern to bark along before gang vocals join in. The galloped riff further presses them toward thrash territory. They get a little caught up in speed for the sake of speed in a few places.
The clean guitar at the beginning of " A Dark Figure in the Distance". The go into the song with a Cynic like progressive sense to the winding song. Even though it's not heavy as most death metal can be, the melodic sensibility of the song is what makes it for me. This song is an ambitious progressive composition as it winds around it self and the solos are tastefully place and quick. However , I was hoping for something a little more from the build up section rather than just full speed ahead. At three and a half minutes " It's All My Fault" is the polar opposite from the previous song , just fast and too the point. This brings back more the thrash feeling. They do cram a lot the three and half minutes they do have of this song. Effective in its aggression, for a song to be so wonderfully titled as "She Fucks Like She's Alive" the deathly thrash doesn't seem to be as dark as a song with that subject matter needs to be.
There streak of great song titles that are hard to live up to musically continues with "There are So Many Reasons to Give Up on Religion". This one finds the vocals locking in with the riff for some catchier moments. The shuffle through some razor sharp riff but never wield one long enough to get maximum damage done. Similar pacing propels " I Take You Life" which is conventional death metal. The chorus as some punch to it thanks to the vocals. The close out the album with the marginally more melodic " Reconditioning the Flock". The guitars slow down on the chorus to give the song room to breath over the stream of double bass. As this one progresses it becomes impressively melodic and not in the cheesy Dark Tranquility way. I'll give this one an 8, it's hard to take a more conventional approach to death metal and make it interesting and these guys make it listenable more often than not, topped out with outstanding shred guitar.