Here’s one I’m not sure how I missed when it came back out in April – the return of legendary Japanese brutal slamming death metal behemoths Vomit Remnants after a ten year hiatus, and their first new album since 1999’s Supreme Entity – the aptly named Hyper Groove Brutality. Back this time around as just a three piece, drummer Keisuke Tsuboi and guitarist/bassist Kei Ishida are joined by new Russian vocalist Dimitry Orlov. When a band comes back after such a long time out, especially one so legendary as Vomit Remnants within the Japanese death metal scene one might have reservations if they can still match up to the old material – however there’s no reason to worry in this case – Hyper Groove Brutality is one of the sickest brutal death metal albums to be released all year.
The first track Burning From Within is an instrumental, as oriental sounding ambient music is matched by some epic sounding lead guitar melodies before the first massive slam riff comes crashing down and Vomit Remnants chug their way through some tasty brutal slams, with headbanging groove coming from both the sick basslines and the tight playing behind the rhythmic headbanging riffs. If that’s just an opener to set the scene, Hifi – The Art of Rapture, the first track proper is fantastic brutal slam from beginning to end. That first chuggy riff met with a barrage of blastbeats and groove laden bass introduces Orlov’s monstrous vocals, a mix of punky shouts and dank aggressive gutturals, he sounds monstrous throughout. Vomit Remnants arsenal of faster chugged riffs, slower grooves and brutal slams is fantastic, and their song writing means they go move seamlessly from riff to riff and between tempos throughout the album while throwing in sweep picking and solos sporadically, keeping you guessing and headbanging throughout.
Die Fast and Blasting has some of the grooviest bass laden slow slam parts on the album in amongst the faster barrages despite its title, while Inflicted Artificial Intelligence has a nasty thrashy bite to some of the tremolo riffing in the intro and hyper sweep picking in among the slams, as well as a brief but devastating hyper solo in the middle. Wire Rope Strangle features guest vocals from Soils of Fate’s vocalist Henrik Cranz and his gargling gutturals add to the filthy atmosphere of the track against the more brute force faster riffs. The production is killer, more modern sounding than the earlier recordings with all the instruments in your face for maximum brutality, without an over the top wall of noise sound to it, the album’s sound couldn’t be much more perfect for accentuating their fantastic slam.
Hyper Groove Brutality couldn’t be a more apt title as it’s all those things and more, a fantastic return after so many years from Vomit Remnants. In terms of pure slam you’ll be hard pressed to find a better album released all year. It’s great to have them back on top form after all this time.