Blood Rapture


Metal Blade Records, 2002

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


As much as I like heavy metal, especially speed metal, I've found myself waiting for the "next big thing" for some time now. Once we got through the magic triumverate of Metallica, Anthrax and Slayer, things seemed to stop - at least in my mind - when Napalm Death hit the scene and raised the bar yet again. Since then, no band has been able to come up to the plate and claim the genre for themselves.

Sweden's Vomitory try their hardest on their fourth album Blood Rapture (their first to feature the same band line-up for two albums in a row), and the disc, while having the feel of an EP due to the ferocious tempo of the music despite being a full-length album, never seems to shift from one tempo. While the group proves they're quite capable of playing fast, it doesn't give them any room to broaden their horizons - and the disc, in the end, suffers for that one reason.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Bassist/vocalist Erik Rundqvist has the traditional death metal growl down to a science, yet the listener can occasionally understand what he is saying. This puts Vomitory ahead of the pack in my book - after all, when I buy an album, I want to listen to it, not treat it like a Peter Pan Book & Record (remember those, kids?). The twin guitar attack of Urban Gustafsson and Ulf Dalegren create a powerful crunch, yet there never seems to be the room for either guitarist to whip out a tasty solo. All the while, Tobias Gustafsson sounds like he's ready to annihilate his drumkit with his ferocious pounding.

Musically, Blood Rapture does do its job, which is to secure Vomitory as a force to be dealt with in the realm of death (or speed, or whatever they're calling it this week) metal. Yet for all their technical prowess heard on songs like "Chaos Fury," "Blessed And Forsaken" and "Rotting Hill," the group never seems to change gears musically, choosing instead to chug on ahead at full steam. This turns out to be their tragic flaw on this disc. Had they shown a little more variety in their musical tempos (after all, even Slayer plays a slower-tempoed song every once in a while), it would have helped to draw even more attention to their musical prowess.

Where one has to give Vomitory credit, though, is that the songs are so tightly written that the disc seems to fly by in terms of time listening to it. By the time "Blood Rapture" comes on to wreck what's left of your eardrums, you'll feel like you're still listening to the first five minutes of the disc. Some might see this as a weakness of the band; I prefer to view it as having the ability to enrapture a listener, keeping their interest locked for the entire disc.

In the end, Blood Rapture proves to be an entertaining enough disc, and one which is sure to keep your interest throughout its course if this genre of metal is of your liking. Yet one wonders how much more powerful Vomitory would be if they added a little more musical variety to their bag of tricks.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2004 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Metal Blade Records, and is used for informational purposes only.