Vore Maleficus

Metal labels really missed out on signing Arkansas death troop Vore, in whose arsenal dwells a colossal old school evil chug that so many bands who are more concerned with speed don’t have or just lost over the years. The sheer gravitas of their third full-length, Maleficus, simply puts most of Vore’s peer bands to shame. After some gloomy atmospherics, the title track brandishes the barbed riffing of guitarist/vocalist Page Townsley and rhythm guitarist John Voelker, lashed to the metronomic blast beats of drummer Remy Cameron. "The Line That Divides” has a quick tempo that degrades at the end to an even slower death march; it’s such a well-designed move that you can’t help but be impressed. "Threshold of Empowerment” spotlights a wailing guitar solo, and again the calculated syncopation of the guitar and drums is nothing short of amazing. "Misery Embrace” recalls old Winter, and it’s this doom-iness that distinguishes this band from the nameless hordes. The brief "Ashes,” an acoustic instrumental, is mindful of Metallica’s "Nothing Else Matters” and expands Townsley’s talent. "Fall unto Chaos” sports a classic breakdown much like Floridian bands Monstrosity or Deicide, with the same underpinnings of Covenant-era Morbid Angel. With simple yet effective Deicide-like artwork, Maleficus definitely puts the "slow & painful” back in death metal. (Subsonic)