Vital Remains - _Dechristianize_
(Century Media, 2003)
by: Jackie Smit (
Maybe it's just me, but I'm starting to grow a tad weary of the whole Satanic thing in extreme music. I mean, let's be honest -- there's only so many ways in which you can chant the praises of the hooved one before the theme grows stale. This gripe aside though, Vital Remains are one of the better bands to needlessly shove their religious views down the listener's throat. Either way, _Dechristianize_ is a very important album for the band, thanks in no small part to the attention awarded them by the presence of Deicide's Glenn Benton. Certainly, the probability of their (arguably somewhat overdue) promotion to the upper tier of death metal rests very squarely on its ability to deliver the goods. And to this extent, it does so beautifully. Many may mistakenly regard this record as a stop-gap while we await Deicide's next (and equally important) offering. The truth is though that in virtually every aspect _Dechristianize_ is a far cry from any of the sub-par meanderings which Deicide have soiled their latter-day career with. With a level of brutality and technicality that could easily go toe to toe with a band like Hate Eternal, Vital Remains plough through some of the most vicious, and uncharacteristically lengthy, extremity they have ever come up with. To the credit of the group's core members, they also never allow Benton's appearance to overshadow their commendable abilities. Where many death metal bands would fail dismally to record a track exceeding five minutes without sounding monotonous, Vital Remains equate them of their task with admirable aplomb -- indeed it takes only one listen to the title track or "Infidel" to realise that Deicide wish they could be this good.
(article published 5/27/2003)
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