Vehemence – Forward Without Motion (Review)

VehemenceVehemence are a Death Metal band from the US. This is their fourth album.

This is the first release after their wonderfully classic third album Helping the World to See, released a mere 11 years earlier. I always loved that one, so now that this new release has reared its head, I’m a happy bunny.

Vehemence play interesting and inventive Death Metal that has a firm melodic slant and good songwriting. If you’re a fan of this kind of Death Metal then Vehemence are one of the best; they manage to play the Melodic style while still keeping the main emphasis on Death Metal.

Sharp, concise growls are the vocal delivery of choice, and it’s nice to hear the singer’s clipped tones back in rotation once more. As always, the growls are complemented with screams and other forms of aural assault, providing a wide range of vocals to match the variety of the music.

And what music it is! Vehemence are all about the songs, with the musicianship set at a very high level. These tracks are, on average, even longer than the ones on their previous release and it’s clear that the band haven’t been lacking in ideas or creativity over the last decade or so. This is an album with a lot to say, and I’m quite happy to listen.

Lethal speed and sharp, serrated melodies fly out all over the place, making Vehemence a dangerous proposition to those unused to such a rich palette being used in Death Metal.

The tracks don’t get boring. Repeated listens merely cement the songs in your mind and lock down the fact that this is infectious, impressive stuff. Quality riffs, melodies, leads and solos make for a luscious and textured tapestry of sounds designed to entice, peak interest and satisfy those hard-to-reach cravings that you have for melodic music that still has bite and nastiness.

Getting this is a bit of a no-brainer really; make sure that you do.

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Fragile Existence – Cataclysms and Beginnings (Review)

Fragile ExistenceThis is the second album by Canadian Death Metal band Fragile Existence.

Featuring the extremity of Hate Eternal, the groove of 90s Death Metal and the Progressive tendencies of Death, Fragile Existence’s second album is 48 minutes of timeless Death Metal that pays homage to multiple Death Metal styles yet remains its own beast.

The songs are interesting and varied enough to hold attention while retaining the core heaviness of Death Metal’s angry bite.

Although they can pile on the blast beats when they need to, the songs are more about creating moods and telling musical stories than anything else. Cataclysms and Beginnings is full of mature songwriting in this sense, as these songs are very accomplished.

The vocals are mainly fleshy and deep; growls that are somewhere between a roar and a rasping shout. Staying at the deeper end of the grunting spectrum, the singer has a fluid aspect to his voice that stops him sounding completely guttural.

The guitars on this album are very enjoyable. Tasty riffs and licks abound, and the amount and length of some of the solos make me a happy camper too.

The Progressive elements in the songs work seamlessly with the more brutal aspects to create songs that are satisfying on both levels. The band have taken the time to craft songs that have a purpose and meaning, rather than just stringing riffs together for the sake of it. The rhythm guitars, drums and bass work together to further the needs of the songs and all instruments have their chance to shine, but only when necessary.

This is a very complete album and by that I suppose I mean that it has a lot of different facets to it and enough depth of composition and delivery to make a lasting impression. It reminds me, in some ways, of Helping the World to See by Vehemence. The albums are similar in many ways, and both take the listener on a journey through interesting and thoughtful Death Metal.

Cataclysms and Beginnings is a very thorough, engaging and impressive slab of mature Death Metal. Definitely one for you to investigate further.