Vehemence Helping The World To See

Vehemence Helping The World To See
You can’t judge a book by its cover, unless it’s a metal album. With eye-popping cover art by the famous Wes Benscoter (Mortician, Slayer, Broken Hope), Arizona’s Vehemence almost can’t go wrong. Front-man Nathan Gearhart’s vocal chords were cut from the same loom as those of Deicide’s Glen Benton and their music has definitely become more brutal than their aggro-prog/thrash days circa their 2000 self-released debut, The Thoughts From Which I Hide. Openers "By Your Bedside” and "Kill For God,” introduce more melodic death grooves firmly rooted in the NWOSDM, while "Trinity Broadcasting (Know Your Enemy)” is more of the same, though tinged with Monstrosity undertones. The piano-peppered, "You Don’t Have To Be Alone Anymore,” invokes the goth gods with a moody intro before diving headlong into the grinding fray. Guitarists Bjorn Dannov and John Chavez trade licks like Maiden’s Murray and Smith on one the album’s definitive highlights. The mostly instrumental, "Alone In Your Presence,” is an acoustic-based number that morphs from Tiamat’s Wildhoney to a full-on electric and emo-ish outro, like a cross between Novembers Doom and Elliott. The (old) Metallica-like "Spirit Of The Soldier” incorporates chromatics and super drum mixing, while "Darkness Is Comfort,” "What Could Go Wrong?” and "We Are All Dying” offer much of the same brutality as before. Originally on the band’s first demo in 1998, the re-recorded "Her Beautiful Eyes” is true old-school death — not at all At The Gates-influenced (which makes one wonder what type of band Vehemence would be today if they had stayed their original course). The album also sports CD-ROM live footage from every stage of their career, working backwards from 2004 to 1997. With a well-defined (and documented) Swedish slant, Vehemence are on their way to becoming the angels of death on this side of the pond. (Metal Blade)