Monday, 6 February 2012

Verminous - Smell the Birth of Death

VERMINOUS - Smell the Birth of Death (NUCLEAR WINTER - EP 2003)
Is there a more old style release than a decent 7" EP single? In the past this is what most of the bands have been releasing, right after their demo. If they were good enough and got recognized, they first were asked to do an EP and then the album, not the other way around. Sadly the tradition of releasing 7 inches has sort of disappeared in the late 90's / early 00's, at least the amount of them wasn't that big and they lost its importance, but luckily it seems like nowadays it comes back, just as everything else that is from the past. The popularity of vinyl format has definitely helped to resurrect the tradition of releasing singles for sure. Here's one such great item, which I find as totally killer and which is reminiscent of the old days. It's a 7"EP from the Swedish Verminous, titled "Smell the Birth of Death", limited to 500 copies (I think) and released by Nuclear Winter (a label run by A.V. of Dead Congregation) in 2003 (there's also a 2009 CD version). The single contains four killer tracks, comes on the black vinyl, and has a xeroxed inlay card with the lyrics, so it does look like something done in the old days.
I don’t know whether this recording was meant to be a demo only, which ended up pressed on 7”EP, but such is the production on this single - it’s raw and obscure as hell, absolutely uncompromising and filled with blasphemous energy and aggression. At the same time if I say raw, I don’t mean primitive, it’s just very old school sounding material, very much similar to the production of Repugnant’s stuff or also Verminous’ full length, not to mention few bands from the early 90’s. And I love it.
As I already said there are four tracks here. Side A is just amazing. OK, it may disappoint that those two tracks have also been released on “Impious Sacrilege” LP, but their EP versions are also great. “Salvation by Extermination” is pretty much Verminous’ one of the best songs (killer chorus part here!) and “Verminous Fluids” is just sinister, fast and relentless beast (oh, I just love its opening theme, which is 666% classic old school Swedish death metal gore horror style in the vein of Carnage). I do think both tracks are superb and are pure fuckin carnage. The mayhem continues on side B, with two new (read: not from the album) tracks of which first one is titled “Resuscitation of the Dead” and it’s just bloody good again, mostly mid paced, but again with damn killer death / thrashing riffs (think of Carnage VS Merciless) and the morbid atmosphere to complete the whole zombie lyrical theme of the song. It does fuckin crush instantly. Then “Chaos in the Flesh” might be the track I like least, but it’s still very OK, yet another very old school oriented song, maybe with some hints of not just Swedish style, but also the Death / Mantas’ one.
Some opinions say that EPs are shit, because there’s not enough music and if there are say 2-4 songs only, which are killer you would love to get more. But I think that’s the whole charm of such releases – to get you interested in the band, offer some special songs and make sure your appetite grows and you feel hunger for more music from the band. To hit you rapidly in the face, knockout you and wait until you awake and then do it all over again. Trust me, “Smell the Birth of Death” will knock you out and smash into blob of blood, guts and bones. And it’s a great appetiser before you play “Impious Sacrilege” LP.
Final rate: 95/100 

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