Dawn of the Apocalypse
Enslain Magazine Issue #7
It took a few years but at long last the new Vital Remains album is here! Luckily for us, the wait was well worth it because the album is a black/death metaller’s guide in properly experiencing the apocalypse. The introduction is one of the better ones I have heard in a while. A truly horrifying symphony of pure desecration in the vein of the Omen theme. Then the metallic apocalypse begins.
Vital Remains have this lethal black/death sound that is an excellent mesh of Metal’s two deadliest genres. This album is yet another fine example of that unholy union. The guitar riffs will sit fine with all death metallers. On the same token black metallers will be able to appreciate the same rhythms. The drums have excellent thrash beats that are perfect for headbanging and then change time into sick yet tasteful blast beats. And the necessary double bass is found aplenty here. The vocals are another fine example of why Vital Remains is so revered in both black and death metal circles. Vocalist Thorns alternates between deep death metal growls and high pitch-black metal screeches that will please all.
My one complaint, however, is that the acoustic guitars should have been used more often and mixed more loudly. The best thing on “Forever Underground” was the acoustic portions of “I am God”, and as a huge Vital Remains aficionado, I expected more of this on the new album. Mind you, the acoustic guitar brilliance of Dave Suzuki is here. I just wished it had been more up front and used more often. An asset like that should be utilized to the maximum by a band as talented as this.
It should be known that as of this review’s writing, original vocalist Jeff Gruslin is back with the band. This was extremely welcome news to me, and those of you familiar with “Let Us Pray” and “Into Cold Darkness” will be most sadistically pleased as well. Prepare to hear this material with the only vocalist who will make you die in frozen terror.
-- Morbid Mario