Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Vorum - Poisoned Void 
Although Sweden, the States and Spain are the busiest centers of 21st century death metal, Finland, a country which undoubtedly has substantial experience with the beleaguered genre, is proving to a beast just as efficient in both quantity and quality. I am well aware that Finnish OSDM reserves highly resemble the embodiment of their American or Swedish counterparts in terms rehashing archaic elements and spicing them up with the sonic strength of modern production values, but I still find their way of manufacturing a smidgen more interesting and prehensile, at least in the overall view of the scenes, especially exhibited by the recent works of Desolate Shrines, Maveth and Gorephilia. The newest spore to blossom away from this ubiquitous plague is Vorum, abruptly exploding under a wealth of caverns with their debut ''Poisoned Void'', a craving, morbid serpentine entity that somehow slithers in the abyss in a way that exceeds many of rivals by, not quite reinventing the wheel but by constructing a formidable block of influences we've all been familiarized before, and meshing them up into something considerably durable and entertaining.
Yes, Vorum indeed achieves victory in where many, and I do say many, of its opponents floundered and shattered. The bulk of the goodness here is the overall sound: The Finns have literally enlarged that marginal line between cavernous swamp dwellers with their resonant quake of reverb, and the more crudely-faceted recruits in the field, wielding their rusty old chainsaws and continually battering, bruising bloodied ears. Indeed, ''Poisoned Void'' is a very blatant homage to Autopsy circa 1989-1992, but at the same time it has an underpinning crunch and a garrulous palette of pure old school riffs that are highly memorable, mobile and absolutely crushing in the delivery while doing so, again, in contrast to their fellow genre-mates. There's a vibrant usage of harmonies that plod along ominous, curving tremolo sequences, and sometimes dual harmonies kick in, which often remind me of the band's olden countrymen, Abhorrence, Convulse and Demigod for that partial flood of brutality. The Finns are also sufficiently content with the relatively clear, though still somewhat murky production, which I believe plays a huge role in assisting the frivolity and memorability of the woven riffs; in all a semi-complex take on unrefined death metal.
Pacing is varied enough, in fact sometimes more diverse than one might think. The drums have a surprising range of patterns that the drummer hurriedly applies to the guitar orchestration, and Vorum, even with a large intake of influences does not tend to forsake any of each influence's aspects; so you can expect short, 3-4 minute songs to be rather crammed with drudging emergence and churning morbid guitars swooshing in accordance to the torturous growls of the vocalist; a blitzkrieg of doomed echoes. This way Vorum channels into atmospheric death/doom installments in mere seconds while right amid a convoluted bark of harried, disoriented riffs. And while doing all these, Vorum seems to be apparently quite nonchalant, making the whole affair feel much more spontaneous than its more freakish, abysmal peers, who prefer to spill their entire set of entrails to the floor, desperately depending on their massively earth-shaking production quality, but the Finns here have established something just as opaque and moreover, much more vigorous. The way I see it, ''Poisoned Void'' is a pretty ''classic'' take on death metal; not wholly invigorating, but still meting out enough variation into each song in those 35 minutes of rancid foulness to deliver a horrid thrust that's truly pleasuring, particularly for fans of early Pestilence, the vast range of primordial Finnish bands, Autopsy, Incantation and Morbid Angel.