Released: 2003, Century Media
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Vital Remains formed in 1989 by the guitarists Paul Flynn / Tony Lazaro, the singer Jeff Grustin, and bassist Tom Supkow. This Providence, Rhode Island (USA) based band then recorded two demos with REDUCED TO ASHES in 1989 and in 1990 EXCRUCIATING PAIN. In 1991 came the 7’’ called BLACK MASS. In 1992 came their legendary cult debut “LET US PRAY”. An incredible amount of touring followed and they were support to the death metal icons Autopsy. The last album from the band, DAWN OF THE APOCALYPSE, came in 1999 and then the band took a break. In 2001 the band went through a line up-change. Tony on guitar, Dave Suzuki bass, drums and lead guitar, and Deicide mastermind Glen Benton took over the vocals and the new line-up was a fact.
Vital Remains recorded the new album in Morrisound studios (Morbid Angel, Six Feet Under, etc.). There’s nothing wrong with the production - it’s brutal, hard, and aggressive. Some of the influences for the band are old heroes such as Venom, Celtic Frost, Bathory, Sodom, Mercyful Fate and Destruction. The band plays death metal but this is more technically played and it has more tempo changes in every song compared to the bands mentioned above. Mr. Suzuki is incredibly good at both lead guitar as well as drums. Mr. Benton’s growling lead vocals is the only thing that’s similar to the old bands.
The band has put 9 tracks on their fifth work with the cover art being just as brutal as the music. This is brutal death metal that you’ve heard before. They are not contributing any new musical ideas in the death metal domain, but it’s worth a listen of you live for death metal.