Who was responsible for the phrase “metal of death” which seems to be getting bandied around more and more at the moment? The way I look at it this is the death metal equivalent of ‘orthodox black metal,’ it’s pretty rigid and has an occult presence at the forefront and its generally beastly and horrid with a cavernous ‘flung into an abyss’ approach. The bands that practice it stem from the filth and slime that first spewed up the likes of Autopsy, Morbid Angel and Incantation but take it a lot further with an unremitting and primitive barbarism at its heart. Apart from this it has a sense of stygian atmosphere and quieter interludes are used as a bridge to add a palpable sense of dread and terror. What I like about it and bands such as Cruciamentum, Vorum, Dead Congregation, Diocletian, Antediluvian, Mitochondrion, etc etc is that you know where you stand with it. This is music without a shred of mercy and it will keep coming, stalking and slashing at you all the way to the grave. I guess its death metal and horror incarnate, the serious video nasty of the genre.
This takes us on to Vorage who tick absolutely every ‘metal of death’ box described. Good to note that this new band are from the UK which seems to have a healthy dose of groups practicing this foul art and the players behind it A.H.S. and Al Xul (bands always use initials or demonic adjectives in description) are from the Midlands and if they do ever play live probably hide behind sackcloth masks. This is basically their three track demo from 2014 which sold out rapidly on tape and has been resurrected by Hellthrasher Productions for a CD upgrade. The demo qualities do show here and it is a murky mix that sucks you down into the vortex of their translated name and smothers you in its depths.
I have kind of shot myself in the foot here and have really described what to expect on the three numbers ‘Paradisiac’ ‘Deatheodidact’ and ‘Vorage’ in my opening paragraph. The tracks are fairly long and certainly harrowing, even a fan of bands like Cannibal Corpse and Hate Eternal, Entombed and other bigger names in the (normal) death metal stratosphere may attempt listening to this and run off screaming like they have demons snapping at their heels after the first ten seconds. Layers of sound build up in swathes and swarm at you in much the same style as Portal who are probably the biggest example of things in this particular void. Vocals growl and are all very low and gruff in the mix bordering on inhuman, the drumming batters and clatters whilst guitar and bass slew around with a discordant lurching gravity about them making you feel somewhat seasick in the process. As far as Vorage are concerned this sees the band confronting their very origins but it definitely bites so watch out! I expect something even more evil and horrifying to splatter upon us in the future.
(7/10 Pete Woods)