Vehemence - _Helping the World to See_
(Metal Blade, 2004)
by: Brian Meloon (7 out of 10)
Arizona's Vehemence have returned with the follow-up to their excellent 2002 release _God Was Created_. Unfortunately, this release fails to connect with me the way that album did. I was somewhat surprised by this, as the two albums share many of the same characteristics. Both are melodic death metal with brutal and precise guitar riffs, growled/screamed vocals, and a tight rhythm section, all played with considerable aplomb. Their riffs are generally melodic without being hook-based and are often harmonized. They seem to be fond of individual note lines -- especially arpeggiated ones -- but they do use chord-based riffs from time to time to add some diversity. And although none of these elements is particularly original, they've managed to define their own unique sound. Yet there are three elements that make this album less appealing to me than its predecessor. The first is that many of the riffs are too similar to those on their previous album. Thus, while they might have been novel before, this time they've lost some of their impact. The second is that the music is less diverse and more repetitive. The songs have a more internally consistent feel, which might also be because each of the songs is credited to a single band member, as opposed to their last album, which had several tracks that were collaboratively written. The last is the production, which certainly isn't bad by any means, but gives the music a sterile feeling. That's not to say that this isn't an extreme album, because it definitely is. However, the production makes the music sound compressed or constrained, and that limits its effectiveness. Overall, I think this is a pretty good release. I certainly got my money's worth from it, and I wouldn't expect that too many death metal fans would be disappointed by it; yet it doesn't really show much progression over their previous release, and thus I don't expect much from their next release.


(article published 27/5/2004)

3/21/2003 A Bromley Vehemence: Christ, They Fucking Hate You!
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