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Vehemence – Forward Without Motion Award winner

Forward Without Motion
by H.P. Buttcraft at 26 November 2015, 11:57 AM

VEHEMENCE, Arizona’s mightiest Melodic Death Metal gladiators, is back with a new album: “Forward Without Motion”. They have been seldom heard from since the release of “Helping the World to See”, which came out all the way back in 2004. But thankfully, after growing in notoriety during those dormant eleven years, VEHEMENCE have pulled together an album comprised of songs that have been written over that period of time.

VEHEMENCE may not seem like a big deal right now because, as I mentioned before, there hasn’t been too much word of them outside of their stomping grounds in the Southwest United States for a long time. But if you have been fortunate enough to get into their previous albums, you will understand why “Forward Without Motion” coming out is so exciting and unprecedented. People who have gotten to hear songs like “The Last Fantasy of Christ”, “She Never Noticed Me”, or “Christ, I Fucking Hate You!” off of their sophomore concept album “God Was Created” or heard “Kill For God” or “By Your Bedside” from “Helping The World To See” will totally be excited for "Forward Without Motion". VEHEMENCE is best at writing memorable, ripping songs that have enough value to them that warrants multiple listens and the hardcore fans of Melodic Death Metal want this album to be just as memorable.

VEHEMENCE’s uncompromising and brutal honesty draws a very clear line in the sand about what they believe in. The anti-Christian message is something that doesn't have the same quality of some band like CRADLE OF FILTH who really just provoke religious people with taboo iconography. Instead, VEHEMENCE criticizes Christianity from a sociopolitical level exposing the Christian church’s absurdity, hypocrisy and disdain towards cultures and faiths separate from theirs. Their lyrics also examine the fear that prevents lots of people in society from seeing the truth in themselves and how Christianity prays on this weakness out of their greed for power. They examine real, dark emotional states of the human experience lyrically just as well.

The band’s patented brutal death metal tone has stayed its glorious self. The drumming from Andy Schroeder in particular is up to par with the blasting madness you can hear on VEHEMENCE's older albums. The solos by Bjorn Dannov with Kyle Moeller on “A Dark Figure In The Distance”, “Jim the Prophet”, and “Imagining The Loss” are worth their weight in gold by themselves. Their astronomical speed picking and dual guitar harmonics are very reminiscent of traditional heavy metal soloing styles. The lead guitars are definitely a really big part of why this band rocks so hard. Even the rhythm leads are catchy and blistering.

With “Forward Without Motion”, these guys picked up where they left off at “God Was Created”. They took some criticism for “Helping The World To See” for having a more audible Deathcore sound to them due to that album coming out around the time when bands like THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER & THE RED CHORD were just getting into full swing. The way "Forward Without Motion" sounds is also far better than the production on both of their previous releases. Everything on here sound well balanced and the mixing has improved the overall clarity of the instruments and vocals.

Overall, I think this is a sleeper hit. As far as enjoying death metal goes, this has to be on the list of things you should get into. “Forward Without Motion” retains the syncopation with the rest of the band's discography but the album aggressively presents itself as necessary to give them a listening. It may have been a long eleven years but the sound of VEHEMENCE hasn’t aged a day.

5 Star Rating

  1. I Don’t Want To Look Inside
  2. Imagining The Loss
  3. Murdered By The Earth
  4. Jim The Prophet
  5. In The Shadows We Dwell
  6. A Dark Figure In The Distance
  7. It’s All My Fault
  8. She Fucks Like She’s Alive
  9. There Are So Many Reasons To Give Up On Religion
Nathan Gearhart – Vocals
Andy Schroeder – Drums
Kyle Moeller – Guitars
Mark Kozuback – Bass
Bjorn Dannov – Guitars
Record Label: Battleground Records


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Edited 29 March 2023

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