Vore – Gravehammer (Self-released)

Sunday, 24th March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

No spiel is necessary when discussing why a simple death metal band like Vore is a better alternative to the cadre of technical death metal bands who would rather light up the sky with notes than hunker down with a goodsong. You can’t top well-executed, song-oriented death metal…it’s a time-honored fact that Arkansas’ Vore clearly recognizes on their fourth album,Gravehammer.

Surprisingly professional-sounding for a self-released album, Gravehammer is held together nicely by a thick, throttling production job. Of instant note is the beefed-up nature of the guitars, allowing for chunky, crunchy riffs heard on “Doomwhore” and “The Claw is the Law” to rip and gnash with unbridled aggression. Moreover, both songs are immediate and crushing, especially “Doomwhore,” which has the album’s finest moment at the 0:20 to 0:57 mark where a simple, palm-muted riff makes quick and effective work of things.

Beyond that, the band is clearly from the old-school of songwriting and sequencing, including an acoustic interlude (“Uroboros”) to break up the flow of the album. Once past that, it’s bombs-away on the title track, where a nice little call-and-response with Page Townsley and roving guitars unfolds into a jarring mid-tempo romp. Additional tracks of note include the surging “Progeny of the Leviathans” and nimble “Thrown to the Wolves.”

Right in the line with the simpleton death metal likes of Obituary and Jungle Rot (both are probably the two best bands of this ilk), Vore’s Gravehammer is a savory slab of traditional metal. Hard to balk at something like this; it’s virtually trend-free and will retain its quality for years to come.

www.vore.org

(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)