Slam Death Metal isn’t exactly an art form. Described simply as Death Metal stripped down to its most base elements, big-hitters of the genre like DYING FETUS and INTERNAL BLEEDING put out material that’s consistently heavy, groovy and totally viable to nod your head to in an acknowledging fashion. However, the genres basic approach on the presentation side of things doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy to pull off. Though there are droves of artists keen on success that tend to just go through the motions without the slightest interest in shaking things up, we have on our plate a great number of, I venture to say mostly European Slam bands lazily chugging along with material that hits the mediocre mark within an inch, a meal of monotone riffs served with an appetizer of uninspired breakdowns.
So it’s always refreshing to hear artists who make this understandably conservative genre into something of their own. The now-disbanded Japanese outfit VOMIT REMNANTS achieve this formative approach excellently, very much in the same way the Ukrainian four-piece WILD DANCES (also split) echoed in 2010. VOMIT REMNANTS eight year lifespan yielded only one full-length, 1999’s “Supreme Entity,” but with it comes an undeniably bouncy but hard-hitting Slam Death record which certainly ranks as one of the genres shining beacons.
The albums tone couldn’t be better represented than on “My Blessed Sickness,” where rolling drums cascade into a Thrash pacing before getting chopped up into insanely groovy breaks; brilliantly executed to be sure. It’s that vaguely zany, off-the-wall procedure here that keeps the album engaging. Toshiyasu Kusayanagi's vocal range is pretty impressive to boot, disparate screams make sure it's not all 'brr brr gaah'. There’s no surprise that much of the album follows the same path, albeit somewhat blighted by a serious case of triggered drum disease and dodgy ‘ghetto’ samples. I don’t know either, but to make up there is an excellent SOILS OF FATE cover (highly recommended if this is your thing).
Japan isn’t quite as barren for Death Metal as some might think, but VOMIT REMNANTS rank alongside INTESTINE BAALISM as one of the most accomplished Death bands hailing from the East. Definitely worth checking out.
(Online April 12, 2012)