Thursday, September 5, 2013
Slutvomit - Swarming Darkness (2013)
Swarming Darkness has pretty much everything I need in my dirty vest-slinging speed-death thrashing black madness. Nasty and lecherous vocals with a nice resonant echo that recollects the proto-Teutonic hostility of bands like Kreator and Sodom. Fast riffing patterns that, while obviously reformed and rearranged from an array of classic records circa Slayer, Possessed, etc, still come across as driven and incendiary, with no shortage of effort in their execution. Warped leads that add an otherworldly, underworldly aesthetic of flair to the more workmanlike speed of the rhythm tracks, and take the whole experience to a level above the mere median of metallic efficiency. Drumming consistency that sounds like the guy's seat is on fire, with plenty of kick strength, fills and yet still a cohesion to the classic, punishing styles of a Hoglan or Lombardo. And last but not least, a clear but not obscene polished production which provides for the little inconsistencies or flaws that give a metal record some actual character. Swarming Darkness did not disappoint me on any of these levels, and though much of the content was already available on their previous demo and EP, its all splayed out here with a level production and impish, charismatic glee.
To be honest, much of the album plays out with an uncomfortable level of sameness that might have been better served with a broader array of riffing variation, but that's not to say that they don't insert a few more mid-paced breakdowns. Some of these instances (like in the titular opening cut itself) definitely seem to take their cues rather closely from classic cuts found on records like Kreator's Pleasure to Kill, and quite a number of tunes have similar speed-picked patterns that vary only in a few chord selections or note intervals. The song titles themselves seem like they've just been paraphrased from their influences ("Bombing the Chapel", etc) and the respective songs aesthetically close to those influences, but it's not like this is a niche brimming with originality...pretty much all of the international acts in this category are recycling Slayer, Kreator, Destruction, Possessed, Bathory and their ilk into hellish breaths of inspiration, and mileage will vary on how they stick the evolved leads, choruses, and rhythm guitars into the listener's memory. I found that Slutvomit has just enough of this to remain intense throughout, in particular on the more substantial tracks like "Morbid Priest (of Hell)" or "Harbinger of Doom" where they really go off the hinges and burn the audience to cinders. Swarming Darkness is perhaps not the equal of Forbidden World, or Aura Noir, or Germany's Nocturnal, but its entertaining enough to start a drunken riot of horn throwing and bottle smashing on whatever native plane of the Abyss you call home. Hail...*hiccup* Satan!
Verdict: Win [7.25/10]