If an outbreak of evil’s what you’re after, raise your iron fist to this slab of sleazy, down and dirty Sodom worship! Not only is Slutvomit‘s homage to mid-80’s era metal a throwback to the blackened speed metal served up by early Sodom and a few other bands of the era, but their band name could almost have been poached direct from Obsessed by Cruelty. Seattle based Slutvomit launch their hard, fast, blasphemous attack with their debut full-length, Swarming Darkness, courtesy of Invictus Productions. The album has the same slipshod disregard of Venom, hints to the devilish guitar solos of Exodus and rounds off with some speedy little riffs that rip into your grey matter in a similar fashion to Infernö and of course the aforementioned Sodom. So, great stuff, they sound like half a dozen bands already on your playlist, what else they got?
The title track screams into position and is over in what feels like an instant – No really it’s there and then it just isn’t! I’m not sure if it’s the result of the 20-minute epic of V.F.d.U that’s still stuck with me or whether it’s that a track of under three minutes barely has time to even get going – at any rate it’s over pretty damned fast. The song gallops along with semi-sloppy old-school black metal of venomous proportions, fast, abrasive drum work and a hellish guitar solo with a small burst of technicality – all in all it ends up being quite a thrill-ride. This is further spiced up with the dual vocal attack of Larson (guitar and vox) and Sanberg (bass and vox). Slutvomit detours from their Sodom worship just long enough to add a blend of raspy, roaring death growls to their high-pitched, manic screams and while the vocals don’t quite hit the intensty I would have liked, highlights include “Downward Falling Christ,” “Bombing the Chapel,” “Morbid Priest (Of Hell)” and “Poservore.” [That last title would make Paul Baloff smile — Steel Druhm].
Let’s not forget the axemen! Larson and Sandiford both contribute to the madness with standout moments being “Morbid Priest (Of Hell)” that starts off feeling a little like a Marduk tune before turning to chaos; “Poservore” bringing to my mind Satan’s Wrath and Galloping Blasphemy and “Harbringer Of Doom” detouring all too briefly into Candlemass territory. Their riffs are plenty repetitive and catchy and for the first half of the album they feel fun and hold my attention. As I moved through to “Necrovoyeur” and pushed onward, my attention started to wane and I ceased to be able to distinguish one song from the next. It feels as though this album should have been stripped down to a nice tidy six tracks and left at that.
Zarnecki takes position at the skins providing an old-school, pugnaciously delivered drum attack. “Bombing the Chapel” gives you a taster of the 100 mile an hour madness he’s capable of, and at the other end of the spectrum where a more controlled and deliberate attack is required, Zarnecki hits dead on in “Morbid Priest (Of Hell).” My biggest complaint with the drum work is that while nicely delivered, it could do with some slightly more interesting fills to hold your attention.
Slutvomit have steered away from being a kvlt black metal band. The production of Swarming Darkness has an old-school Sodom-ized quality, while still bringing the vocals and guitars nicely into focus. My favorite tracks ended up being “Morbid Priest (Of Hell),” “Poservore,” “Eden Ablaze” and “Harbringer Of Doom.” Each of these tracks has some little intricacy, be it a screaming, tortured guitar solo speedily delivered or some bombastic interplay between the drums and the guitars or vocals that try and grab you by the throat, desperate to choke the life out of you. Swarming Darkness is a charge back through the mid-80s with plenty of head-bang moments, but apart from that, no amount of looking at this album from different angles will make these servants of Satan an essential listen – Swarming Darkness is nice to have, been-done-before metal.