"Opus Mortis VIII"

(Metal Blade)

01. Regorge In The Morgue
02. Bloodstained
03. They Will Burn
04. The Dead Awaken
05. Hate In A Time Of War
06. Torturous Ingenious
07. Forever Damned
08. Shrouded In Darkness
09. Combat Psychosis
10. Requiem For The Fallen

RATING: 8/10

Vicious and bludgeoning VOMITORY has always been, but the compositional level jump that is 2007's "Terrorize Brutalize Sodomize" (2007) and the razor storm that is 2009's "Carnage Euphoria" came with extra sharp edges. That is most assuredly the case with this year's "Opus Mortis VIII" as well, perhaps even more so when one considers that the album sounds like a knife slash across the face feels. It hurts like hell, except in the case of the new long player from the Swedish vets you're perfectly fine with said slashing occurring again and again. Hell, you'll encourage it!

For those previously uninformed about the ways of VOMITORY, the style is more Tampa than Stockholm and similar to European death metal bands like SEVERE TORTURE, although the Swedes offer a pinch more identity. By and large though, this is meat and potatoes U.S. style death, albeit with VOMITORY's patented manner of making each circular-sawing riff seem as though it is slicing your eardrums in half, a characteristic that fits like a glove on "Opus Mortis VIII". The band's knack for terrifically gnarly grooves and neck-snapping transitions stand out on this baby too. All due credit should be given to producer Rikard Löfgren who again harnesses the VOMITORY sound in a way that ensures continual deepening of the wounds and an uninterrupted blood flow.

One thing that the new album demonstrates yet again is that when VOMITORY stomps on the gas, it is with no regard for human life and when the tempo shifts to the downward position the grind is purposeful and deadly. The massiveness of "Shrouded In Darkness" is an exemplification of the latter. A smattering of SLAYER-esque kill-licks accentuate the death metal battery (e.g. "Regorge in the Morgue"), while the aforementioned transitional neck-wrecking (e.g. "Combat Psychosis" and "Bloodstained") tend to overwhelm with violence. It's all here and when the final bell rings the only color you'll be seeing is blood red.

Comparatively speaking, I'd put "Opus Mortis VIII" just ahead of "Carnage Euphoria" and just behind "Terrorize Brutalize Sodomize". All three are top quality death dealers. The new bucket of guts seems to cross the sheer savagery of its predecessor with the memorable songwriting of "Terrorize Brutalize Sodomize". VOMITORY continues to be an upper quartile kind of death metal act and deserves even more recognition as such from the DM community. This is about as real as it gets. So get it.


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