All Heads Are Gonna Roll

Metal Blade
rating icon 7 / 10

Track listing:

01. All Heads Are Gonna Roll
02. Decrowned
03. Ode To The Meat Saw
04. The Deepest Tomb
05. Piece by Stinking Piece
06. Raped, Strangled, Sodomized, Dead
07. Dead Man Stalking
08. Disciples Of The Damned
09. Dead World
10. Beg For Death

Since 1989, VOMITORY have been crushing skulls. The old-school maniacs are rightfully revered as legendary in the gatekeeping world of death metal. In spite of some notable inactivity including a couple of "hiatus" periods or breakups, depending upon who you ask, the Karlstad, Sweden-based ensemble have been peddling straight-forward, barbarous death metal since the genre's formative years. And 12 years after "Opus Mortis VIII", the beasts are back with "All Heads Are Gonna Roll", a 10-song ripper that doesn't bring anything new to the table, but further cements them as a tank that writes pummeling, catchy songs.

The band's 2019 30th anniversary, involving a series of live performances, prompted its revitalization. True to the punk rock and simplistic spirit of old, VOMITORY tracked the album's instruments in their rehearsal space. That jam room vibe and aesthetic is clear across the board. Beyond VOMITORY's core — co-founding brothers drummer Tobias and guitarist Urban Gustafsson, respectively, as well as vocalist/bassist Erik Rundqvist and guitarist Peter Östlund who have been a part of the fold for more than 20 years — the Swedes enlisted their buddy Christian Fredriksson to lay down a few scathing guitar solos.

With "All Heads Are Gonna Roll", VOMITORY continues spouting brutal slabs of death metal that are somewhat more American than most European, and especially Swedish, death metal bands. "The Deepest Tomb" is blistering throughout, encompassing infectious guitar melodies that are comfortably embedded within the song's maelstrom. There's no question that "All Heads Are Gonna Roll" is VOMITORY's most hook-laden effort, something the band had pursued with intention. Here VOMITORY sound like they're excited to continue doling out violent songs, but now it's clear that they're not worried about trying to out-do anyone.

This album is a clear exercise of pleasure. The eloquently titled "Raped, Strangled, Sodomized, Dead" shines with its memorable repetitive elements and strong, hypnotic chorus. But lest one forget, the very next song, the up-tempo, face-slasher "Dead Man Stalking", replete with a fist-pumping, SLAYER-esque riff midway through, makes it painfully clear that VOMITORY remain a brutal death metal band whose primary goal is full-frontal auditory assault. There's no question that Erik Rundqvist's well-enunciated death grunts augment the savage and attention-grabbing nature of the album, yet towards the end of "Dead World", there's a noticeably more unhinged quality to his delivery.

VOMITORY has returned in a big way. At the end of the day, however, there's not much by way of variety on "All Heads Are Gonna Roll". That doesn't matter when the band concludes the album with such a bold and cocky number as "Beg For Death", a track that begins with an ominous, slower groove that grows in the same way that the title track from CANNIBAL CORPSE's 1998's "Gallery Of Suicide" strikes you.

Never mind how much traction "All Heads Are Gonna Roll" will latch onto, the effort is a worthy, delicious slab of true death metal.

Author: Jay H. Gorania
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