Vore – Gravehammer

Reviewed: April 2012
Released: 2011, Indie
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

For whatever reason some people, fans, media, whoever, can make a personal connection with a band and it gives them a little extra reason to champion that band. When it comes to Vore my reason is pretty simple. I was at a Metal Festival in Sana Antonio, Texas in 1999 and I bumped into a dude named Page with new young band called Vore. I didn’t know him, he didn’t know me but we chatted and he was kind enough to give me a copy of his debut EP, DEAD KINGS EYES. Being quite new to the radio industry (I had only been on air, on my show for three months at that time) I thought it was very cool of him just ‘give’ me a free CD. Now I get free CD’s every single day but back them it was really cool. You never forget your first! Ha! Despite the fact it was free, the EP was really good and I’ve followed the band since. Let that be a lesson to young acts trying to market themselves, a little kindness goes a long way in people’s minds, even in the realm of Death Metal! So here we are 12 years later and Vore is still kicking ass.

It had been quite a few years since Maleficus came out, Luxi reviewed it here back in 2006, so I was glad to hear the band is still going and have a new album called GRAVEHAMMER. It carries an eye-catching cover with a fiery demon-knight, wielding a mighty (grave)hammer. The cover character looks a bit similar to the mascot of Disturbed but Vore’s guy could easily chew that other guy up and spit him out in seconds. He is one mean-looking SOB! Great cover. The rest of the booklet is great with some customized artwork to match the theme of some of the songs. I love it when bands do that. The black and white drawing for the song, ‘Throne To The Wolves’ looks awesome. It could have been the cover as well. The booklet comes with lyrics and notes and stuff. The band from Arkansas is down to a trio with Page now handling all the vokills. He handles them well never quite unintelligible but still gruff and brutal as hell.

Vore still churn out some killer Death. How’s that for an odd phrase? Killer Death. There is no other way to describe it. The album is just over 50 minutes for nine songs. The band have started to write slightly more complex tunes with some of the songs stretching into that 6,7,8 minute range. That does not necessarily mean they have embraced tech-Death or gone all proggy but just a little more work on the arrangement and compositions, not quite as straight ahead as the last few. There are still lots of soloing but not wandering all over the map. There is a nice acoustic solo piece called ‘Uroboros’ that blends into the atmospheric sound-effect laden introduction to the grinding, mid-tempo title track. There are certainly some great melodies in the songs, recalling perhaps some Hypocrisy, just great song-writing.

Vore in my mind are still one of the unsung acts of the American Death Metal scene. Trust me there are hundreds of bands but over the years Vore has been slowly (too slowly) building that reputation and following. GRAVEHAMMER is probably their best album. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait another six years for the next one!


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Track Listing:
1. The Cruelist Construct
2. The Unseen Hand
3. Doomwhore
4. Uroboros
5. Gravehammer
6. The Claw Is the Law
7. Progeny of the Leviathans
8. Throne to the Wolves
9. Sacerdotum Tyrannis

Lineup:
Page Townsley Guitar, Vocals
Jeremy Partin Bass
Remy Cameron Drums

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