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Vile Apparition - Depravity Ordained Award winner

Vile Apparition
Depravity Ordained
by Sean McGuirk at 22 January 2019, 3:37 PM

For those that like their Death Metal brutal, with a live, straight-to-tape sound, clear instrument separation, a drum sound with actual character, and vocals that sound like a video game character is moving a boulder across the screen, the Australian band VILE APPARITION is here to rescue from a sea of over-produced digital fakery. Their debut album, “Depravity Ordained”, is a nothing less than a monument to the way Death Metal should be played and heard. This is the good shit, folks.

Did I say good shit? I mean like, CRYPTOPSY demo-era shit. Yes, that good. While guitarist/vocalist Jamie Colic nails a solid raspy, Lord Worm, guttural baritone, drummer Ollie Ballantyne is a monster with an artistry similar to the esteemed Flo Mournier, using his entire kit to great effect with not a beat wasted. Just check out the reverb on that china cymbal at the start of “Repulsive Desire” or the nutty tom fills during “The Gate”, where he teams most effectively with bassist Dave Kearns to create a proggy GORGUTS Tech Death flavor. His deep double kicks are really more felt than heard, organic sounding and never overused, as opposed to the over-the-top and sterilized precision in most modern Death Metal.

An even more apt comparison might be the early-90’s New York-style Death Metal played by SUFFOCATION and friends, best heard on album opener, “Mauled and Nameless”, during a choice triplet-riffed syncopated guitar and kick drum breakdown section, or on “Dissect to Enucleate”, where Colic’s semi-squealed lows add an attitude of brutality to the proceedings that make you feel bad for anyone who wanders too close to the pit.

Something must also be said for the exceptional guitar work on this record from Dan Harris and Colic, who share duties. There are some massive, grinding, palm-muted death spirals to be found here. Technical, but never chaotic just for chaos’ sake, they work in perfect unison with Ballantyne’s percussive melodies. There are even moments of extreme grandeur, ala “Amongst The Catacombs”-era NILE, like on the title track during a particular tasty breakdown before an epic dive bomb-laden solo section, or on the closer, “Window of the Grotesque”, which ends with a doomy, Eastern-inspired, “all hope is lost” outro. The sci-fi sound design piece, “The Cursed Path”, dovetails nicely with the next song, “Malevolent Aphanatasia”, to create a subtle NOCTURNUS vibe, with some ray gun whammy bar harmonics, a swift sweep arpeggio solo, and some nice techy tempo changes to hammer the comparison home.

As someone who prefers the hardcore brutality of the aforementioned SUFFOCATION in their Death Metal, VILE APPARITION is a serious contender for best new artist of 2019, in my book. With their 2017 demo (when they were simply a two-piece, and Colic was going for even deeper Lord Worm meets INCANTATION vibes) also included on the disc as a bonus, you really get your money’s worth, and then some. Kudos to these Aussies for keeping it fucking putrid down under!

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Mauled and Nameless
2. Depravity Ordained
3. Dissect to Enucleate
4. Aeon of Impalement
5. The Cursed Path
6. Malevolent Aphantasia
7. Repulsive Desire
8. The Gate
9. Window of the Grotesque
10. The Abyssal Plain (demo 2017)
11. Anatomized Remnants (demo 2017)
12. Atrocious Captivity (demo 2017)
13. Fearless Deity (demo 2017)
Oliver Ballantyne - Drums
Jamie Colic - Guitars, Vocals
Dan Harris - Guitars
Dave Kearns - Bass
Record Label: Memento Mori


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Edited 28 January 2023

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