Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Vile - Depopulate
Brutal death metal... what could we say about it? Generic? Definitely, I can think of at least ten bands off the top of my head that haven't done anything of their own, other than taking Suffocation riffs and speeding them up and turning them to utter garbage, example: Deeds Of Flesh. Boring? No way! there's nothing more engaging than DEET DWEEDLY BEEP BOP JUN DUN DUN with a pig going grroooo groooo eee eeee eee over it. Pointless? Hahahah, anybody who's ever played an instrument can pick this out within five seconds of listening to most BDM.
So at this point, I'm wondering, how could Suffocation, Malignancy, Kronos, Cyptopsy, and a select few other bands have done it so well? This genre is probably the biggest pool of dime-a-dozen guitarists playing with drummers who don't know a single thing about rudiments to ever exist. None of the bands stand out remotely... well, that's a bit rash, because clearly A FEW do, and maybe those bands aren't even that good, but at least they don't sound exactly like Pierced From Within thrown into a blender with a pig and swamp thing.
Now Vile, here's a band that's got it right. Their music isn't "brutal" because it's an endless slurr of failed tech riffs and overdone breakdowns. This band is brutal because it's just extremely relentless, straight forward death metal. It's not too fast and pointless. It's not too slow and chugging, and it doesn't sound identical to Suffocation. Vile, you can tell, actually know how to play their instruments. The drummer sounds like a machine, but he's not trying to show you how omg fast his blast beats are. The guitarists don't overuse pinch harmonics and chugged riffs, never noticeably make an error (impressive in this scene), and actually vary their riffing style, something the reader should know I specifically look for in death metal.
You have relentless high speed tech riffing a-la Origin and Animosity (albeit more tastefully done than Origin), evil sounding tremolo riffs a-la early Decapitated, and actually heavy melodic riffs similar to what was so very huge in the south around 2004, even some black metal riffs here and there. It's like what I look for in deathcore, but heavier, and with much less mindless breakdowns... and the breakdowns they use have interesting rhythms and a kind of Cannibal Corpse-esque sound.
As a vocalist myself, I have to comment on how nasty the vocals are on here. The growls have the perfect combo of gurgle-y backing to a raspy overtone that I think creates the perfect guttural. The guy is obviously not trying to force his voice deeper than he should to compensate for weak tone, this guy has perfect tone. Albeit his highs are a bit generic and weak, but they're rarely used, and usually tastefully layered in the background for effect.
The negatives of this album would be... well, it's brutal death metal. No matter how good a brutal death metal band is in comparison to its contemporaries, it has to be really damn good to catch my interest. Secondly, the solos. I cannot stand when death metal bands try to solo, because it's always godawful. Finally, sameness, the songs themselves have a good variation of riffing style, but every song features a different take on each of those types of riffs, just in a different structure... it's less samey than say, Waking The Cadaver or Devourment, but it's not the ultimate gem of variation for sure.
Thank God this album is so short (six seconds short of 30 minutes).
Download, this shit thug.