There are two types of bad art in the world, just like there are two types of turds. The first type is embodied by the movie The Room. It’s a massive turd. It’s a turd that you look at and marvel over how it was produced by a human being, a turd that you immediately want to share and laugh about with your friends. And then, there is the fouler type. This is the turd that is spoken of in hushed tones, the pungent semi-diarrhea laced with the partially digested remnants of yesterday’s corn, the turd with a stench so foul it would wrinkle the nose of Beezlebub himself. This is the turd you immediately want to flush and never want to speak of again. This turd is Vomit Angel‘s Imprint of Extinction debut.
On the surface there’s nothing inherently wrong with Angel‘s approach. The project consists of two former members1 of Danish blackened death band Sadogoat (later known as Sadomator) who are now attempting to mix their previous band’s sound with grindcore. Songs are short and bludgeoning affairs that rarely exceed two minutes and are powered by simple and clunky riffs that rumble with a big beefy guitar tone. The production as a whole is surprisingly clear and though the drums are a bit wooden and obnoxious, one is never left to sift through murky reverb. As a whole, it sounds like if Archgoat tried to write a grindcore album and in another universe I could imagine it working.
The problem is—well, pretty much everything else. Many of these 20 tracks feel unfinished and the majority simply move between two basic riffs before ending unceremoniously. First proper track “Concussion” rides a “fast” riff for 10 seconds and a “slow” riff for a few more seconds before the drums cut out and the guitars fade to silence. Ostensibly it’s meant to be a short blast of aggression; instead it sounds like the band were performing a soundcheck and accidentally put it on the record. It doesn’t help that the vocals are often unintelligible gurgles which are more suited for a slam death band and don’t fit at all with Angel‘s style. This stupidity first emerges in “Hobo in the Woods,” in which the band simply alternate between sewer gurgles and raspy cries of the track title over a simple punky beat. This style was never really known for innovative riffing but the riffs Angel use feel especially dull, particularly on later songs like “The Sabbath of the Goat” and “Freezing to Death.”
To be fair, I don’t think the band take themselves too seriously. Several songs begin by counting time on cowbell and “Poisoned Dreams” is nothing more than a minute of cowbell strikes and a barking dog. The absurdity continues with “Vestfyen Classic,” which at one point uses a vocal style that sounds like someone drunkenly mumbling near the mic.2 True to grindcore’s form, the band incorporate samples, notably “Vomits” (45 seconds of a dude vomiting) and “Defecation” (18 seconds of a dude with the Hershey squirts). The thing is, none of it is funny in the slightest, nor is it pleasant to listen to. It’s nothing more than a couple guys fucking around, doing something that is amusing only to them. The band lack any of the energy or insanity typically associated with grindcore and instead sound like they ended up playing the style because it allowed them to be “humorous” while exerting minimal effort.
It’s a shame, because some moments actually show promise. The bonus track “Surprise” features some solid chugs that remind me of Armoured Angel, “Vomit Angel”3 breaks into a nice chunky groove at one point, and closer “A Brutal Meeting” features a decent tremolo riff. Sadly these moments are overwhelmed by the sewage tsunami that is everything else. As if to highlight the shittiness one last time, the band throw in a four minute hidden track4 called “Raped by the Horny” which turns out to be a trebly disaster that sounds like raw black metal gone wrong. It’s a final “fuck you” to anyone who got through these 29 minutes and is the last buttnugget on top of this shit sundae. With Imprint of Extinction, Vomit Angel have delivered a vile, repulsive mess. Don’t turn around and gawk at this turd. Jam the handle, relish that satisfying flush, and simply walk the fuck away.
- Joined here by a “session lead bassist.” ↩
- Perhaps an insight into the recording process for this album. ↩
- Which is one of the better tracks here, so of course it’s the only one available to embed and no one’s going to believe me about how bad this is. ↩
- Because, as KenWord pointed out to me, we really fucking needed both a bonus track and a hidden track. ↩