Vomitory – All Heads Are Gonna Roll Review

It’s been a good, long time since we’ve heard from Swedish death metal royalty, Vomitory. From 1996 through 2011 they regularly assaulted the metalverse with high-quality material adroitly blending vintage Swedeath ideas with American death of the Floridian persuasion. It didn’t break barriers but it sure as hell busted skulls, and ghastly platters like Blood Rapture and Carnage Euphoria stand the test of time. Their last album, 2011s Opus Mortis VIII, was a great parting shot full of ripping riffs and bashing brutality, and they were sorely missed when the silence settled. Now 12 years later the beast arises, bedazzled in entrails and offal for All Heads Are Gonna Roll. With the same lineup that graced Opus Mortis back in the fight, will the long layoff prove a challenge to shake off or will these seasoned death masters bring the pain like they did in the olden days? Pray for mojo.

There’s no intro of any kind here. Instead, your scalp gets ripped off the very second the title track kicks in. And boy does it kick in hard! It sounds like Vomitory never left and they bring furious, reckless death to the people with enough raw energy to make Vader consider burying their discography in a mass grave and take up knitting. This is the Vomitory I loved and still need in my life. It’s insanely fast, heavy as fook, and yet surprisingly memorable and dare I say it…accessible. The better news? The next 5 tracks are all as good or better and kick your ass up into your diaphragm time and time again. “Decrowned” is a heartbreaking work of staggering untoothery, with blasting speed transitioning to a massive chug riff that will hurt your unborn progeny. It’s so simple but damn it feels goood. “Ode to the Meat Saw” is also a special treat full of rancid meat, sounding like Autopsy and Bloodbath had a baby behind a meth lab and left it to be raised by the rats. “The Deepest Tomb” is another hard-to-resist stormer that packs a raw swagger as it stomps your eyeballs out with razor-sharp riffs and percussive insanity.

There isn’t a slip or step down until seventh track, “Dead Man Stalking,” which is more pedestrian and classically Swedeath with d-beats from central casting. It’s fine but it can’t stand alongside the 6 monsters that precede it. Things course correct for the savage onslaught of “Disciples of the Damned” which will remove skin tabs and facial features with unsubtle nods to vintage Deicide to help drag you to Hell. Closer “Beg for Death” is another slightly generic cut, but nothing here is bad, and the first two-thirds of All Heads is impossible to resist. The songs are wisely kept short and nasty in the 3-4 minute frame, and the 40 minute runtime is the perfect length for this kind of industrial shellacking. The production is fine for this kind of death and the guitar tone is crusty and combative.

Peter Östlund and Urban Gustafsson take no prisoners and offer no traces of kindness to humanity with their brutal riff-raffery. They take the very best elements of Swedeath and add old school American tropes and a slight hint of blackened evil to arrive at a formula fatal to the manflesh. Nothing they do is innovative or cutting edge, but they’re masters at their craft and you will be cut. Their riffs are sticky and they keep an everflowing stream of them coming at you. Erik Rundqvist’s vocals are part Corpsegrinder, part Kam Lee and all exquisitely unpleasant. He has the classic death croak/roar and I love his delivery. Tobias Gustafsson’s kit work varies from frantic to inhuman and the bludgeoning will not stop until morale improves (P.S. it still won’t stop). This is a hyperactive shitstorm of an album and you don’t have an umbrella. Ella. El… gagging noises as you die.

I had concerns Vomitory could still bring the pain effectively after so long in the ground. Well, the pain has been broughtened! All Heads Are Gonna Roll is meat n’ taters death done very well. It provides nothing new to the metal community, but it wantonly slashes throats and breaks bones. Only a slight fall-off on the back end keeps this from being Great, and it still packs a whole lotta twisted fun for the depraved and deranged. In summation, get thee to the Vomitory, you miserable retch!

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Metal Blade
Websites: vomitory.net | facebook.com/vomitoryband
Releases Worldwide: May 26th, 2023

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