Vomitor – The Escalation (2012)

vomitor the escalation

Article by Lance Viggiano.

The Escalation perfects the misunderstood Australian art of Cimmerian metal – a deliberately low-brow affair which has little tangible relationship to the Common Practice Period and therefore easily panned. Vomitor deliberately flaunt rock’s loud and emotive ethos through boorish motifs qualified further by a thin and mid-centric texture executed in characteristically poor-taste. Constructed primarily out of recombination of past forms, The Escalation is a deliberately retro affair which succeeds by forming a singular and immediately identifiable voice. Historical precedence for this identity is found in the work of Spear of Longinus – specifically the first demo contained within Black Sun Society. Vomitor do not present a way forward for metal; instead the entity finely maps a territory which was discovered but left largely unexplored by ancestors who clung to the safety and security of the coastlines looking into an inhospitable thicket which obscures a familiar but nonetheless unique landscape.

Venturing beyond the safety of the coastal encampment reveals primitives who cleave with elongated and primarily rhythmic phrases which extend too far; building tension and evoking a crippling anxiety which is later made the emotive focus of a true melody. This state of mind is emphasized by frequent outbursts of neurotic, disorganized and irreverent solos. Their staunch refusal to allow space in-between notes and phrase advances extant internal conflict accidentally; causing the music to stir with an enduring sense of discomfort. A bleating voice rises from abyssal delay effects in which the resultant incomprehensibility closely resembles the chaos of a lived experience devoid of mythic narratives to give sensibility by correlating sensation with desire. The belligerent hide-beating of an unlearned savage conveys an attenuated pulse which is equally succinct as well as ignorant of technical skill and conventional wisdom.

Nevertheless, the focus of this work is not wholly on unresolved distress. Unlike the civilized and much to their chagrin, a barbarian resolves its grievances in the most expedient and direct manner. Vomitor achieve release through tuneful reprisals of eldritch forms seated somewhere between Metallica and Bathory which retain the cock-rock brevity of the former with the horrific animism of the latter. Likewise, these decisions occur suddenly and often irrationally drawing a comparison to first wave acts who explicitly rely on nonsensical outbursts as songs; offending the well-to-do sensibilities of logical phrasing.

Despite the triumphant character of these sections they are never victorious. Like their antecedents, these songs are stricken to push onward against greater forces by strength of body and will; despite ultimately failing, meaning is found in the struggle itself. The coda of the album acknowledges this futility by a sudden decrescendo, suddenly shifting the celebration of a hero to witnessing the smoldering pyre which bears his body’s last residence.

The tone is never solemn nor contemplative; neither are the compositions well considered nor the instrumentation well executed. The Cimmerian metal is a forceful exertion of will under the certainty of death which despite musical similarities to rock music places its ambitions alongside the entirety of the metal spectrum. The war band bravado is an admirable and respectable force which carves out the foundations of a society with greater efficacy in withstanding the brunt of reality and so it falls short of higher achievements of the genre. It is nevertheless a mistake to disregard the concrete power commanded by chieftains like Vomitor.

Europeans may still purchase the CD and LP from Invictus Productions.

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16 thoughts on “Vomitor – The Escalation (2012)”

  1. Johan P says:

    “Metal Ör Die” – what else needs to be said? Good review, I think you’ve succeeded in carving out a piece of (fenced) land for these un-noble beasts.

  2. OliveFox says:

    It is sort of like Beowulf being explained by someone who has only glanced through the Cliffnotes. Still, played at a party or something, the concrete power you describe holds some communal value.

    “Younger brother” metal, if you will.

    That lead guitar is some silly business, make no mistake.

    1. Vigilance says:

      It’s not in good enough taste 85% of the time to be played at a party without intensely grating on everyone’s nerves.

      1. OliveFox says:

        I have certainly resorted to worse tactics to end a bad party early.

  3. Rainer Weikusat says:


    The vocals are a bit more 2nd wave, the sound/ production is less completely atrocious and the musicians possibly a bit more competent (difficult to judge because the sound of the other is so bad). The 3rd track has some interesting variations of well-known hard rock riffs at the start.

    1. Vigilance says:

      Depending on the version obsessed by cruelty is such a beautiful mess.

  4. C.M. says:

    I really dig the momentum that these guys can carry throughout the relatively long song lengths. Those leads though… sorry pal but it takes more than a shitload of mushrooms to be Trey Azagthoth.

  5. John D. says:

    Got sidetracked and found myself in a back alley. Another marvelous piece of writing. It’s almost too good for the music itself, but it pulls out the meaning quite accurately and does it full justice, amped up into a piece of art in its own right. All you guys are better in details than I am. Old Sodom, Mutilator, Martire, even Messiah. I lower myself into this type of music and on one level get hypnotized, following more the smoke slowly rising and drifting over the battlefield. I make drawings, so I often listen to this more primitive metal not really as background but still indirectly, using it as the dark ground out of which some envisioning can be done, the vocals in Vomitor not breaking but more in the mids with the reverb keeping it meshed in, not breaking the spell, and the smoke slowly forming into shapes not yet too complex and still able to be followed and comprehended.

    1. Martire! I have meant to review Brutal Legions of the Apocalypse for a while but kept putting it off to listen to Morbid Angel.

    2. Vigilance says:

      The insight here: indirect listening; it’s something I think also applies to profanatica. The subconscious motion of such “primitive” forms is an important aspect. Always, Always, such music fails upon close and intent listening. It must work its way into your soul in the background.

  6. butt_feast88 says:

    Vijewlance secretly loves his beer metal

    1. Rainer Weikusat says:

      Your idea of beer metal is drunk.

    2. Vigilance says:

      1) I’d never hide it.
      2) I only decry beer metal when it is passed off as something other than what it is.
      3) quite literally the only hat I own is a municipal waste hat.
      4) I am a false please entree my rectrum

      1. Vigilance says:

        5) lists are autistic.

      2. C.M. says:

        Beer metal is fine but Municipal Waste is garbage, would rather listen to deathcore or 25 Ta Life when I’m drunk.

        1. Vigilance says:

          I refuse to hold a serious conversation about music – um – at that level.

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