Thursday, January 31, 2013

Vorum: Poisoned Void (2013)

Oh Yeah, That's Why I Love Death Metal

I used to do death metal album reviews to the tune of about one a week, maybe even better. That rate has fallen off drastically, but it’s not because the genre no longer interests me. The output is what’s lacking. Aside from Horrendous and Ataraxy, 2012 simply didn’t have much on the bone that was sufficiently rotten to satisfy my zombie cravings. I still list it as one of my two favorite genres (along with doom), despite the fact no death metal managed to even get an honorable mention from me in my end-of-2012 list.

Thankfully, 2013 is already shaping up to be much better. Case in point: Finland’s Vorum, and debut Poisoned Void. Vorum did a split in 2010 with the incredible Vasaeleth, so as you might expect their maggot-ridden bread and butter is old-school death metal. In contrast to their American counterparts, they’re not here for swirling, hellish Incantation-worship. These Finns are all about the riff, Altars of Madness style.

The music is the fast, head-banging death metal of yore, and it is catchy as fuck. Vocalist Jonatan Johansson sounds like an unhinged Martin van Drunen as he roars “Evil! Evil! Evil! Evil! Evil! Evil! Seed! Seed! Seed! Seed! Seed! Seed!” By the time he’s done with it, you’re already hoarse from shouting along and, most likely, your neck is broken. It's so catchy, my 19-month-old son was singing the "seed" parts the first time he heard it. Just as importantly, they have a dynamic mastery that’s all too rare. The riffs are constantly changing, from sprint to stomp and back again, and the change-ups extend to the drums and whammy bar solos as well as guitars.

On top of that, the record easily has the best production job I’ve heard in death metal since Disma’s Towards the Megalith. It’s not as heavy as that monster, but with natural tone yet completely in-your-face volume, it’s tough to find any complaints (especially check the drum tone on “Evil Seed”). The guitar solos sound like they were recorded in a cave, a fine choice in this instance. The only problem is some weird stereo cutout on “Rabid Blood,” but I suspect that’s only on promo copies.

The year 2013 has now officially started, and the bar has been set very high indeed.

The Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Buy Poisoned Void


  1. I think Gorod, Hooded Menace, and Diskord put out some good stuff. There's also the unrestrained evil of Aevangelist.

    I wasn't impressed with Horrendous.

  2. I don't think I've ever heard Gorod or Diskord. Hooded Menace is only marginally a death metal band (if you ask Metallattorney, they're just a doom band with death vocals).

    It's almost impossible to believe that a death metal fan wouldn't like Horrendous . . . that was a damn good one. Are you into other OSDM?

  3. I'm fine with including Hooded Menace if only because of the lack of output you mentioned.

    I'm not really into the old-school stuff. I didn't get into DM until relatively recently, and even then it was stuff like Suffocation, Nile, and Immolation.

  4. More good 2012 Death Metal...

    Charon - Sulphur Seraph
    Ignivomous - Contragenesis
    Coffin Texts - The Tomb of Infinite Ritual
    Necrovation - S/T

    And another great one in 2013 is Abyssal -
    Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius