Vomitory was one of the first death metal bands that I discovered when I first REALLY got into death metal in the spring of 2007. I was already listening to death metal (and other death metal subgenres) bands like Suffocation, Insision, Obituary, Bring me the Horizon, Suicide Silence, Scar Symmetry, Nightrage, and some others. But 2007 was the year that I discovered and really started loving almost 200 other death metal bands. Not that it matters or anything, but I’ve never really had a FAVORITE traditional death metal band…that is, until the release of Opus Mortis VIII. It was Carnage Euphoria that truly won my appreciation and support for Vomitory, but I was hoping to get something more out of them in their next album (Opus Mortis). Although none of Vomitory’s records are enough to be called my favorite death metal record ever, Vomitory’s discography as a whole has been consistently strong with very few weak spots (if any), making it (in my mind) easily comparable to the discographies of Death and Mortal Decay.
Although Vomitory’s music is great, there is one thing that’s always kind of bothered me, and that’s the drums. In almost all of their pre-2011 material, the drums are literally blast beats from start to finish. But as time goes on, the amount of blast beats that are being used seem to get less and less…until the amount shot back up again with Carnage Euphoria, my favorite album by them before the release of Opus Mortis. But then again, they still bothered me, so I was hoping to hear something new and engaging out of the drum section. Turns out that my hopes became reality. The drums are EXTREMELY creative and interesting compared to previous releases like Revelation Nausea and Primal Massacre. There’s actually next to no blast beats that are being used; mainly something fancy with the cymbals while hitting the snare on the down-beats.
I’ve always loved Erik’s super guttural growls. In Opus Mortis, Erik’s growls don’t get any deeper, but they get much more of a wet guttural sound that does nothing but add to the brutality of the record. Erik is one of those vocalists that puts 100% of his focus on the SOUND of his growls rather than on how fast he can go or completely on lyrics. That’s sort of the same situation as John Tardy from Obituary; except he doesn’t really focus on lyrics at all.
The guitars are very interesting, but they won’t really speak out to people who aren’t huge fans of traditional death metal. If you’re expecting complex and technical, Vomitory isn’t the band that will deliver what you want; check out the technical death and progressive death section instead. The guitar distortion isn’t as sharp and crunchy as Carnage Euphoria; instead, it’s more of a deeper, softer distortion that still has tons of crunch. Think of it like this: Carnage Euphoria is like a saw with SUPER sharp teeth, and Opus Mortis is like a saw with softer, duller teeth. But don’t let that get your hopes down, because the highly-distorted, deep sound of Erik’s bass puts a lot of meat on the guitars to give it a really juicy sound.
Vomitory is my favorite death metal band (traditional death metal, I mean). There aren’t very many other bands out there that have been around since the late 80’s and STILL deliver a TRUE and PURE death metal sound without letting it get old and boring. Opus Mortis VIII is a MUST HAVE for any death metal fans, especially those that listen to traditional death metal stuff like Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Immolation, Jungle Rot, and Autopsy. I would give this album a PERFECT SCORE for being the best and purest death metal album of 2011.