I return to my chambers, cackling madly. I’ve just dropped a heap of Witch Vomit on a bunch of unsuspecting n00bs in favor of something even fouler: Slutvomit, a Seattle quartet who play a raw and devilish union of thrash, black, and death metal. Madam X took on the band’s 2013 debut Swarming Darkness and found it a reasonably enjoyable release with similarities to early Sodom. But now, second album Copulation of Cloven Hooves is upon us, an album that I feel especially qualified to review given it was made by a band with “vomit” in the name. I open my laptop to take the promo. Release delayed until October 4th. “Fvvvkkk!!!” I cry out. Yet they say good things come to those who wait, and in this case it held true. Copulation is an even better album than its predecessor and is just the raucous good time you didn’t realize you needed.
Much like its predecessor, Copulation is firmly rooted in black metal but often charges forward on battering rhythms and frantic, staccato riffs that feel much more indebted to thrash. The sound is somewhat similar to Nocturnal Graves, but more often Slutvomit‘s spastic nature reminds me of Nifelheim. Biting rasps are crammed into seemingly every measure, and where they’re absent the band throw in plenty of sizzling and squawky solos that call to mind Trey Azagthoth’s leads in Morbid Angel‘s early works. The tempos are almost relentlessly fast but the band still work in a few slower moments for variety. Early highlight “Scythe of Mass Damnation,” for example, ends with a squealing and simple melodic passage that works great and reeks of something Nifelheim would do.
Slutvomit‘s inflammatory delivery is compelling enough on its own, but where Copulation truly succeeds is in the quality of its songs. Opener “Command for Triumph/Genocide Lust” may be my favorite cut from the band to date, beginning with big doomy chords before accelerating into an assortment of jabbing riffs and culminating with a sharp oscillating melody over cries of “Genocide lust!” Second track “Endless Graves” attacks with molten tremolos and pounding chords that recall Nocturnal Graves‘ …From the Bloodline of Cain album, before climaxing with a chorus of skewered and diving notes. Yet the most unique song is the title track. Beginning with a slow ambling pace, the song soon bursts into hammering rhythms and then slows again for a glorious scream of the track title coupled with surprisingly dramatic leads. This climax is the most epic thing on the album and makes me imagine entering a vast subterranean chamber where a group of zealots have surrounded two hoofed demons engaged in coitus.1
Though the average song runs roughly two minutes longer than those on the debut, that in itself never really poses an issue. What is an issue, however, is that the second half tends to be less notable than the first, with “Evil Commands You” feeling particularly rote. Fortunately, Slutvomit mitigate this by infusing plenty of crunchy half-time riffs in later tracks. “Total Possession” might have been just as nondescript as “Evil” were it not for the crunchbomb headbanging riff that appears in its midsection. Likewise, “Baphomet’s Call” breaks into a stomping triplet that sounds like a large predator has you cornered and is encroaching on you, knowing damn well there’s nothing you can do to stop it. The album also finishes strong, with closer “Acolyte of Death’s Destruction” concluding things in grand fashion with ominous melodies, stomping riffs, and a particularly burly chorus.
The production aims for rawness and as such there’s some lo-fi fuzz that I could have used a bit less of. Fortunately, the vocals have a nice amount of reverb and the guitars have a hot and dry tone that fits the music well. Overall, there’s a lot that Slutvomit do right and though Copulation is over 45 minutes long, never does it feel like it outstays its welcome. This is an absolute blast of an album that’s sure to please fans of everything from Vomitor to Sadistik Exekution, not to mention black metal fans who don’t mind some thrashy flair mixed in. This is the type of album that makes me want to wear gauntlets as part of my everyday attire and never use the letter “c” again. If you can stomach it, you might just find that Slutvomit have delivered a thoroughly wild and enjoyable album that speaks to the nasty fvkker in all of us.