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Vitriol - Pain Will Define Their Death

Vitriol
Pain Will Define Their Death
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 20 November 2018, 7:11 AM

VITRIOL is a Portland, Oregon based Death Metal band and “Pain Will Define Their Death” is their debut EP.   Even for Death Metal, this band is incredibly intense—I mean, this album bursts open like a dam and just completely hammers the ears until its done, leaving you with the echo of your thoughts.  EVERLASTING SPEW RECORDS is no stranger to Death Metal—I previously reviewed SEROC’s  “The Phobos/Deimos Suite,” and thought it was the most insane Death Metal album I’ve heard this year.  Another release by the label was CONSTRUCT OF LETHE’s “Exiler,” which still stands as my overall favorite Death Metal album of the year.  With that said, even as heavy or technical as those bands may be, VITRIOL still managed to shock me with their bludgeoning force and their unwillingness to take the foot off the pedal or allow a breather.   I imagine the recording process was just each of them going into a booth and playing as fast and mean as possible then mixing it all together. I’m sure that isn’t how it went but the velocity and sheer aggression they put into their Death Metal would suggest otherwise.   Imagine a mixture of a more brutal MORBID ANGEL and a more venomous NILE and you might have an idea as to what this EP brings to the table.

As much as this dedication to all things brutal impressed me, I can’t help but feel sometimes they were brutal for the sake of it.  These four tracks are extremely well done but I’m not sure I could listen to a longer album of nine or ten tracks straight thru without taking a break.  Of course this is just one man’s opinion, a man who often times prefers some flash to his extreme music (damn my inner prog snob soul!) so feel free to take what I say with a grain of salt.  Still with all that being said, this is one hell of a ride. All three members create as much noise as a herd of rampaging zombies but what makes everything so intense is the pure focus of each player.  The bass, guitar, drums, even the vocals, are all done with laser sharp, and to the point, precision.  Each song is without a doubt technically proficient but they are so out there with their destructive elements that it is a bit more subtle.  Despite its short length, this is an EP that requires multiple listens to gain the full breadth of the songs capabilities once you get bast the initial annihilation that is their sound.

The title track is basically a duel between the guitars and drums as who can destroy the senses faster.  Kyle's frantic riffs are everything at once (fragmented, technical, groovy) without being any of these things: he definitely has his own play style.  Adam's bass is a knife that consistently severs the nerve endings of the band into pieces, rearranges them, and builds the whole band back up on a strong foundation of molten steel rhythm. Drummer Walker is a living, breathing jack hammer and I can’t decide if his snare or double bass is faster.  If someone told me he had six arms, I would probably believe them.  The track is a great example of what the band is going for—if you don’t like this track, you won’t be able to handle the remaining three. “VICTIM” is an audio torture device for Kyle's vocal chords, which are stretched and sacrificed in a near endless storm of Death growls, some of the best I’ve heard this year.  I’m impressed he can pull off these vocal patterns AND those riffs at the same time.  The part from 2:05 to the end of the song is extremely volatile and makes a great case for how exciting yet disturbing Death Metal can be.

Violence, A Worthy Truth,” is more violent than the most violent thing you can come up with and this song throws that fact into your face.  The first minute or so of the song is just one stop musical death machine and is probably what a building falling on your head feels like; probably my favorite song on the album and if someone asked me to play one of the most brutal Death Metal songs of the year, I’d probably play this one. “The Parting Of A Neck,” is what happened to me when I headbanged to the song.  Seriously though, this one is an outright rager of a track, equipped with some impressive higher pitched Death growls that really get the blood pumping.  The blistering guitar solo works well within the song and doesn’t take away from the atmosphere, nor does it feel like just a simple bridge to connect the song—it has a place in the song and does well with it. VITRIOL have released one hell of a debut album and have shown me they sure as hell have the potential to release a classic album one day.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Pain Will Define Their Death
2. Victim
3. Violence, A Worthy Truth
4. The Parting of a Neck
Lineup:
Kyle Rasmussen – Guitars, Vocals
Adam Roethlisberger – Bass, Vocals
Scott Walker – Drums
Record Label: Everlasting Spew
     


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