Revelation Nausea
[Metal Blade]

Vomitory are a Swedish death metal band, but they don't play goofy goregurgle or Dark Tranquillity-style AOR. Actually, when trying to think of a comparison, I came up with Sadistic Intent. This is brutal death metal with enough thought put in to merit attentive, repeated listening.

Like Sadistic Intent the music is somewhat simple, with a handful of great riffs per song assembled (again, thoughtfully) so that crashing waves of riffing ensure there's always forward momentum without relying on many guitar solos, singable choruses or obvious, manipulative time changes and theme resolution.

The drummer is Tobias Gustafsson, and he is excellent. Precise, of course, but he's also got to be one of the fastest blasters in Sweden - approaching Dave Culross speed. Also, without overplaying, he does a great job of keeping the songs moving and playing interesting beats and fills (he writes most of the music, which is unusual).

The violence of this record is remarkable; one realizes that it's only blasting for probably 33% of the time, but it seems like more. Keeping the record interesting throughout are the guitars, which build rich, complementary, understated melodic character upon the chunky foundational riffing (check the great song "Under Clouds of Blood"). Lyrics are uneven but generally good.

- the inessential -

Production: Great. Clear and loud, but not "clean". Similar to Sadistic Intent's 'Ancient Black Earth'.

Packaging: Again, great. Warm and neat, with pleasing old school cover art.

More comparison points: Sinister, but more straightforward; newer Vader, but with more substance; Molested, but more professional.

2001 j.s.