VOMITORY - Redemption (FADELESS - CD 1999)
Quite often people say that in the mid to late 90’s / early 00’s death metal was really weak and there wasn’t really much happening in this genre, except maybe few bigger bands that were releasing some decent album. Well, in some point such talking is right – at that time black metal really was in the centre of the attention of most people and death metal was just lurking from its back, but that doesn’t mean that everything was going on in this style of music from 1995 wasn’t interesting. There were still many great bands, which were releasing some good albums… maybe the older, classic bands such as Deicide, Unleashed or Grave were not able to match the quality of their early materials and thus they’ve been releasing some dull records, but some other bands really did hold the flag of death high. And maybe that was even better if we had just a few really mind blowing death metal bands, instead of hundreds, from which you don’t know what to pick up (like it happens nowadays). When talking about the bands from this time I usually tend to mention Fleshcrawl, Monstrosity, Immolation, Asphyx / Soulburn, God Dethroned, Dismember, Malevolent Creation, Krisiun, Nile, but I often forget about the Swedish masters of brutality – Vomitory. I don’t know why, anyway they for sure were one of the better death metal bands in that time and their second LP “Redemption” certainly was among my five best death metal albums released in the late 90’s. Yeah, so good it is…
The recipe for “Redemption” was very simple, I guess. First of all the proper production - it should be brutal, thick and damn powerful, so every sound will be killer, loud and aggressive and everything will be filled with energy able to devastate and turn everything into ruin. And damn, for sure Vomitory did achieve it perfectly. In my opinion the production of “Redemption” is awesome. To record everything at the Berno Studio for sure was a good decision and as I said I like the sound of the album. It has everything what I wrote above and nowadays it still sounds excellent and strong as hell. Once I put the volume up I can just feel that sheer aggression and powerful energy fills my apartment… walls crack and the ceiling falls apart…
And then there’re the songs… In original version “Redemption” contains eight tracks, including God Macabre’s “Ashes of Mourning Life” cover and well, they are all damn killer. They are very fast, very uncompromising, brutal and powerful, sometimes they’re almost grinding like crazy, but at the same time the material is varied, with plenty of slower parts spread through the album and even some more melodic patterns used here and there (but not over melodic, the album is extreme all the time!). Vomitory’s death metal is also quite hmm “catchy”, if I can say so… not over technical, but more straight forward, with memorable and impressive riffs, without any twisted and too complex parts, as this is brutal death metal, not maths lesson. And without bothering much about the originality Vomitory simply composed strong and powerful death metal songs and they succeeded; “Redemption” surely was one of the best death metal records of the late 90’s. But just listen to how this albums starts; first few songs are total blasting extreme motherfuckers: “The Voyage”, then the grinding “Forever in Gloom”… Finally “Heaps of Blood” will stop that madness a little bit, with some more midpaced tempos and groovy, almost melodic riffing and that is also continued with “Embraced by Pain”. And that’s good, if the speed is not something what the band concentrates on fully, but also cares about the songwriting and diversity. So, “Redemption” is a great achievement from Vomitory; even 14 years since its recordings it still sounds brutal and crushes the bones, so I have nothing more to desire.
There are two versions of “Redemption” and I must admit that personally I picked up the one released by Fadeless Records, as this CD contains some nice bonus tracks from Vomitory’s long sold out anniversary picture LP (released in 667 copies by Fadeless in 1999). So, we get five bonus songs from it – with three Vomitory’s tracks and two cover tunes: Napalm Death’s “Extremity Retained” and Sodom’s “Christ Passion”. More so, the booklet is filled with some archival band photos and some liner notes, so this CD version is really nice to have. Remember then… Death metal forever!
Standout tracks: “The Voyage”, “Forever in Gloom”, “Redemption”
Final rate: 85/100