Vomitheist – NekroFuneral

I miss Mark Z. The definitely still alive vomit, witch and goat enthusiast we all know and love would’ve been all over Vomitheist. He would’ve delighted in our recent philosophical musings on treating this Swiss death metal trio’s name as a portmanteau of “vomit” and “theist”—implying one who worships at the altar of vomit—versus a portmanteau of “vomit” and “heist”—implying a vagabond band of thieves who embark upon an ambitious thieving of emesis. At the same time, I am ecstatic that Mark Z isn’t here right now. Otherwise, I would have had to engage in fisticuffs with the youthful curmudgeon to get this promo, and I, a sponge of soft constitution, would have little chance at victory. So it is with great glee that I now present Vomitheist and their ripping debut discharge, NekroFuneral.

Initial spins of NekroFuneral reveal a record that is a perfect fit for Transcending Obscurity’s roster, embodying a serrated OSDM character bridging the gap between label mates GoregängCrawl, and Feral. The label itself even corroborates such comparisons, adding more established acts like Autopsy and Dismember. Such comparisons check out for the most part, all points leading to a delightfully scuzzy slab of gym-ready death metal. D-beat rhythms, chunky riffs bleeding with groove, and voKILLS that recall Martin Van Druren with a very productive stomach bug await you in this depraved pit of filth and gore. Occasionally, Vomitheist even experiment with long-form compositions (“Carnivorous Cult”) and death-doom (“Tormenting Fungal Infestation”) which complements both their default mode of slightly-faster-than-mid-paced stomp and their short sharp shocks of punky deathgrind. It’s a putrid mix that seems to be trending in my recent promo selections, but you won’t find me complaining.

A three-cut beatdown surfaces early in the record, with “Epidemic Disembowelment,” “Horrific Bloodshed,” and “Morbid Decomposition” providing an ideal encapsulation of everything Vomitheist can do. The former initiates a death-doomed intro to build some tension before hammering the walls down with speedier tempos and an excellent D-beat riff.  “Horrific Bloodshed” follows up with less than two minutes of vicious deathgrind and a chunky stomp embellished with a noodly decoration at the tail end of the main riff.  From there Vomitheist moves the record into pure Swedeath territory, “Morbid Decomposition” simultaneously recalling the mid-paced grooves of Carnation as well as the brutal buzzsaws of Helslave. These pieces make for a strong first impression, but none prepared me for the joys of the aforementioned “Tormenting Fungal Infestation” and the twelve-and-a-half minute “Carnivorous Cult.” “Tormenting Fungal Infestation” is simply huge. A massive, unstoppable groove craters the ground deeply enough to sever continents, complemented by a swagger fierce enough to incite bar brawls without warning. Meanwhile, “Carnivorous Cult” shoehorns a metric ass-ton of killer riffs, blasty rhythms, and immaculate transitions into one demolishing final stretch interspersed with awesome drum fills and kicks. Its conclusion begins with a simple, but crushing riff, surfacing somewhere just after the midpoint. And it just gets slower, and heavier, and slower, and heavier, and slower, and heavier, and so on for another six minutes until it finally murderdeathkills the record. Excessive it may be, but I adore it and wouldn’t change a goddamn thing.

On the other hand, there are certain adjustments I might make elsewhere, if only to improve an already super cool record. For starters, “Epidemic Disembowelment” permits its doom-laden introduction to delay the inevitable outburst of vomitous rage without just cause, and “Chapel of Abhorrent Reek and Festering Slime” is a throwaway interlude that contributes no substance whatsoever. Additionally, NekroFuneral presents an odd inconsistency where some songs suffer more than others for their OSDM or Swedeath influence, largely attributed to the same lack of standout features or novel songwriting approaches endemic to those styles. For example, both “Gut Asphyxiation” and “Putrefaktor” are competent numbers that both largely fit the cookie-cutter Swedeath mold. However, “Putrefaktor”‘s writing happens to be strong enough, thanks to excellent riffcraft and butter-smooth transitions, to remain memorable and engaging. “Gut Asphyxiation” sadly isn’t as compelling and is therefore easily forgotten.

Quibbles aside, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with NekroFuneral. It has fueled my gainz, motivated my Mondays, and enlivened my precious free time. Vomitheist created a rock-solid death debut ideal for any occasion, a perfect complement to any activity, and a universally enjoyable experience. It’s not unique, but it gets the job done and exceeds expectations. Mark Z, when you see this article, buy this record. You’ll love it!

Rating: Very Good!
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
Websites: vomitheist.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/Vomitheist
Releases Worldwide: May 19th, 2023

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