Massive Incineration

Unique Leader
rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Annihilate The Infernal Army
02. Beg For Mercy
03. Bloodtime
04. Call To The Abyss
05. Church Of Losers
06. Endless Dark Solstice
07. Mark 0f Blasphemy
08. Massive Incineration
09. Repulsive Shores Into Oblivion
10. Third (2024 Version)

A strong track record counts for a lot in underground metal, particularly when a band disappears for over a decade. VOMIT THE SOUL could easily have been just another footnote in the never-ending history of brutal death metal, but their 2005 debut album "Portraits Of Inhuman Abominations" was sufficiently authoritative to ensure that the Italians were not forgotten when they split up in 2011, with only one further full-length on the books (2009's "Apostles of Inexpression").

Reemerging in 2021 with "Cold", VOMIT THE SOUL picked up exactly where they had left off: with an imperious demonstration of slamming brutal death, albeit with a vastly superior production to any previous recordings. Three years on, their fourth album arrives with little fanfare, but death metal connoisseurs know the difference between heavyweights and also-rans. "Massive Incineration" is obvious, top-tier stuff.

In keeping with most of their Unique Leader label mates, VOMIT THE SOUL favor a voracious, ultra-modern sound with crisp, punishing kick drums and an unforgiving wall of grinding guitars, all of which moves as one, lethal and uncompromising. Frontman Max Santarelli has a drily destructive roar that completes the picture of a murderous, mutant machine, powering forward and trampling its enemies underfoot. Other bands may dabble in eerie atmospheres and progressive indulgence, but VOMIT THE SOUL named themselves after a CANNIBAL CORPSE song for a reason. This is death metal with no excess body fat or artsy pretensions. The bludgeoning is all that matters.

Despite being somewhat fixed and inflexible in sonic terms, "Massive Incineration" still packs in a sizeable number of peaks and troughs into its air-tight, 30-minute onslaught. The opening "Annihilate The Infernal Army" showcases the Italians' bewildering dexterity, with countless tempo tricks, high velocity blasts and out-and-out-slam parts woven seamlessly together and played with psychotic intensity. "Bloodtime" provides a moment of flagrant, bug-eyed savagery, with a blur of abominable riffs and blitzkrieg drumming that threatens to veer off course, before snapping back into VOMIT THE SOUL's precise and ferocious syncopation. Meanwhile, the title track switches from blast-driven attack to slithering, sludge-drenched slam and back again: lobotomized violence, executed with a physician's finesse.

It ends with a re-recorded version of "Third"; the closing track from "Portraits Of Inhuman Abominations". Aside from sounding bigger and better on every level, it brings a dose of semi-old-school grimness to an otherwise ruthlessly up-to-date record. Wiry, witchy riffs become entwined, Santarelli's gutturals plumb new and grimier depths, and VOMIT THE SOUL bring the hammer down, while reveling in their own callous athleticism. Demolition job, unequivocally done.

Author: Dom Lawson
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