The other day, I was sitting at the
kid’s n00b’s lunch table and about to close a deal trading away my Twinkie for Carcharodon‘s bland, British pastry, when Mark Z. walked in like the cool big kid he is and slammed a promo on the counter. “Hey, n00bs. Here’s Witch Vomit if you want it. I’m doing something else.” He promptly picked up another promo with “vomit” in the name and walked away. I tried to act cool, seeing if anyone else was as excited as I was, but when the bell rang, all of my fellow n00bs got up and headed towards Dr. Grier‘s 5th-period class, “How to Avoid Dismemberment.”1 I, however, couldn’t resist. I ran to the counter, scooped up the Witch Vomit with my bare hands, and poured it into my backpack. I spent the rest of the day watching the clock, longing for the moment that I could run home to my cell, grab a spoon, and see what this brand of emesis tastes like.
Magnifico! And what exactly was the witch eating before she regurgitated the Portland, Oregon band’s sophomore upheaval Buried Deep in a Bottomless Grave? By the taste of things, she enjoyed very deeply of early Dismember, early Incantation, and early Autopsy, but it’s the fact that she washed it down with a cold glass of Slayer that really makes this fun. While undeniably an old school death metal band, Witch Vomit writes songs like they’re a thrash band and it’s resulted in a 27-minute long record that never once runs short of energy, groove, or melody. Each track has its own character, and there’s not a single dry heave to be found amongst them—each one expels copious amounts of disgusting substances in various states of digestion for your aural displeasure.
“From Rotten Guts” starts the gagging with a short 80’s synth intro before vocalist Tempter rides in on top of a wave of worming riffage with his first cavernous growl. The track features some melodic soloing to go along with disgusting belched vocals and a reckless pace, and the feeling that everything is an instant away from flying apart into a chaotic splatter is immediately evident and will be a common theme throughout the album. The title track is a mid-paced near instrumental with a nice groove that devolves into madness, and “Dead Veins” explores a more doomy death direction. But the final three tracks are where the puke really hits the pavement. Embed “Dripping Tombs” is a crusty barnstorming buzzsaw with tremolos galore, “Squirming in Misery” is a great instrumental, and “Fumes of Dying Bodies” rips you a new orifice so you can expel even more vomitus. The latter is the second great song of the summer to discuss the serious issues surrounding unpleasant fumes, and it uses an almost crossover thrash attitude to bring the album to a chunderous2 close.
There are only a few very minor burps to discuss. The first two tracks both end in exactly the same way with some sampled sounds, and this wouldn’t have been as noticeable if they were separated in the tracklist. The second sample includes some incredibly cheesy spoken word, but it’s not much of an issue given the tongue-in-cheek approach the band uses with their subject matter. The production sounds good for the style, and I have to highlight drummer (or the role described by the promo as “Cranium Crushing Gore Fucker”) Filth’s performance. Produced very organically, his drums are a constant highlight, and his erratic style makes the band’s loose, unhinged pacing work extremely well. “From Rotten Guts,” “Buried Deep in a Bottomless Grave,” “Dripping Tombs,” and “Fumes of Dying Bodies” are all killer snacks that will fulfill your nocturnal hunger.
Boy, am I glad that Mark decided to switch vomits. I’ve now reviewed three, 30-minute OSDM albums in the last few months, but Witch Vomit is the congealed cream of the contemptible crop. I can’t get over how much quality metal the bloated and distended Portland scene is barfing up this year, and I’m optimistic that there is even more good ejecta to be hurled forth from that fetid place in the near future.