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Vile - Rare Tracks (1996 - 2004)

Rare Tracks (1996 - 2004)
by Drago at 10 January 2013, 6:18 PM

With song titles like “Surgery”, “Severed” and “Path To Incineration” there is no doubt that you will be head banging to some classic sounding Death Metal. Formed in 1996 from the San Francisco Bay Area, VILE is clearly inspired by legendary American Death Metal bands MORBID ANGEL, CANNIBAL CORPSE, ATHEIST and MONSTROSITY. Everything from riffs, vocal style and song structure bleed American Death Metal.

Released through the Netherlands Hammerheart Records “Rare Tracks” combines all of Vile’s hard to find demos and some rare bonus live tracks. Guitar player Colin Davis has remastered this through his own Imperial Mastering. The sound of the record is a tad muddy but one would be hard pressed to realize that this material is originally of demo quality. Spanning the years 1996 – 2004 this release comprises 4 demos and a scattering of live performances.

The first 6 songs are from their first two demos released “Unearthed” and “Vile-Ation”. Five of the first six songs were rereleased on their first full-length record with only “Processions Of Destruction” still being unreleased. You can clearly hear their 1999 Demo “Relapse” and 2004’s “New Age Of Chaos” capture the bands sound in a superior way. Once you hit the track “Path To Incineration” the band does kick into another gear and the songs are even more brutal. More blast beats annihilate your ear canal and Juan Urteaga’s vocals are extremely brutal. The production gets better as the album moves along as well. The guitars are more defined and the double bass kick patterns are clearly heard.

The inclusion of the live tracks does nothing to enhance the recording. I would much rather listen either to the demo versions or the actual album versions of all three original tracks. Maybe they should have included some new tracks to enhance the release instead of adding the live tracks. They do a live cover of “Cold” by the infamous At The Gates. I know their later material has more hints of European Death Metal and I can only imagine that 2004 is about the time that influence started showing up in their original material as well.

I would say the songs from 2004’s “New Age Of Chaos” are the most enjoyable tracks on this recording. The songs are more complex; the riffs are more unique and devastating. I really like Urteaga’s vocals a lot on these tracks. Highlights are “Deafening Silence” and “The Burning Shrines”. Both songs incorporate guitar solos and the grooves will tear your head off.  They are also the most memorable tracks from a vocal standpoint. You will be screaming “Bow Down” at the top of your lungs the first time you hear the ending of “Deafening Silence”. I don’t own the actual release of “The New Age Of Chaos” but based on the demo material of the tracks I will be hunting it down.

There isn’t anything groundbreaking or new here. Not sure I would want it any different. We have nothing fancy or atmospheric. Brain assaulting riffs, blast beats mixed with subhuman vocals pave the way for this quick moving record. This is just brutal American Death Metal.

3 Star Rating

1. Surgery
2. Alive To Suffer
3. Terminal Existence
4. Persecution
5. Severed
6. Processions Of Destruction
7. Path To Incineration
8. Butchered (Instrumental)
9. Engulfing Hate (Instrumental)
10. The Burning Shrines
11. Deafening Silence
12. Terminal Existence (Live)
13. Cradle Of Deceit (Live)
14. Path To Incineration (Live)
15. Cold (Live – At The Gates Cover)
Colin Davis – Guitars
Juan Urteaga– Vocals
Record Label: Hammerheart Records


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Edited 16 June 2019

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