Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Vomitory- Opus Mortis VIII(2011)

Vomitory- Opus Mortis VIII

When it comes to Swedish Death Metal, a scene which I am well known for mostly disliking, Vomitory are an act I can get behind. Blood Rapture and Raped In Their Own Blood remain the defining Swedish Death Metal albums for me personally, and the band have never released an album I could not listen to. Which is a big reason why Opus Mortis VIII is such a tough listen: after two or so decades of producing consistent quality, Vomitory have struck out with their newest effort.

Opus Mortis VIII makes a bad impression right off the bat with it's production, which sounds far too clean for me. Part of what made Blood Rapture such a masterpiece was the production: filthy, vile and wet , like the basement of a cannibal serial killer with a massive porn library and a lack of tissue paper. Opus Mortis VIII just doesn't invoke the same images, and instead comes off like a much cleaner, less violent affair. And that is exactly what Opus Mortis VIII is: all talk, no actual violence. This album feels slower, and is more melodic, than any of the bands previous albums. This album sounds much closer to the Entombed/Dismember style of Swedish Death Metal that leaves me very cold. The slower paced, Doom-ier elements on "Shrouded in Darkness"(easily the best song on the album) are actually pretty cool, but for the most part Opus Mortis VIII is a sickeningly standard affair.

Opus Mortis VIII is almost self-aware in it's own generic, focus group Death Metal status. Everything about it is cleaner, more presentable and less threatening than the band has ever been: from the stupid album art, to the generic song titles("They Will Burn" might have been awesome in 1989, but now I am sure As I Lay Dying would use that in a song about other religions), to the songs themselves that no long have any balls. I realize that I am talking about Vomitory here, a band who have been releasing same-y albums for most of their career and will never go into a more experimental direction. But what made Vomitory so awesome was their energy: they may have been one of many mass murderers marauding about Sweden in the early 90's, but they rose above a crowded scene through sheer force of attrition.

Opus Mortis VIII is an album from a band that is tired. Their zeal for slaughter has subsided, and the rigors of making this music, which we all know is a recipe for at most lower middle class status and Tinnitus, have taken their toll. This is the album of the old man, on his last legs, still churning along in hopes of one more payday so he can rest his weary head. Opus Mortis VIII is merely a product, machine made for mass consumption. The joy of the kill is dead.

Rating: 5/10

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