VORE ALBUM REVIEWS
Let’s be honest, it’d be an impressive feat for an album containing track titles such as “Doomwhore” and “The Claw Is The Law” to be anything less than brilliant, wouldn’t it? In this case, Vore have chosen to live up to their ridiculous, unabashedly metal tracklisting by conjuring up a concoction of savage riffing, primitive growls and heinously depraved doom so repulsive that it’s almost gag inducing. Despite its lengthy runtime, “Gravehammer” is peppered with enough sickening hooks and displays of flawless technical ability to fill three albums, yet alone one, and as one of the most impressive death metal releases of 2012 thus far, “Gravehammer” strikes a near perfect balance between vehement sludge and unwavering speed.
4 out of 5
Vore have been slogging their guts out for 18 long years and finally, finally, they have been rewarded with a deal from AFM. Why this band weren’t signed up years ago is anybody’s guess, but with Gravehammer, they’ve recorded an album that simply couldn’t be ignored. With nine tracks of steamrolling death metal that just crushes everything in its path, this is a monster of an album. Forget overt technicality, forget insane velocity – with Vore, it’s all about superb songs, immense heaviness, and an atmosphere of all-pervading doom. Opting for a predominately mid-paced, relentless rumble, Vore have created and album for old death metal purists without a hint of trend-following or modern influence. The riffs are finely crafted, the lead-work exquisite, and the rhythm section has the power of a volcanic eruption. The quality lyrics are delivered with a forbidding roar, the production is sheer brutality, and even the cover art is bloody brilliant. Resolute and relentless, Vore have finally made the world sit up and take notice – it’s about time.
4.5 out of 5
Anthony Bourdain often muses that the best chefs are the ones that see themselves as craftsmen, not artists. Free of pretense, these chefs strive to execute their chosen trade in expert fashion, driven by the passion of perfection and the satisfaction of a triumphant result. Those that regard themselves as artists and innovators, by contrast, tend to disappear up their own asses, their expertise wasted on self-congratulation and grandstanding.
His basic point is this: Being a pretentious asshole is only going to win you other pretentious asshole friends. The cost outweighs the benefit. At some point, you have to look at yourself and ask, "What drew me into this in the first place?"
Vore is a band that hasn't lost sight of that inital draw. While many purveyors of the (now waning) tech-death wave may have cut their teeth on the basics, they've since become immobilized in carrot foam and liquid nitrogen, to the point where grilling a fuckin' steak is a distant memory.
Now, living outside of the cutting edge hasn't done Vore any favors in terms of popularity. Neither has releasing a mere three full-lengths (Gravehammer included) since their 1994 inception. Nor has the fact that they reside in Arkansas and have a touring schedule that rivals Vindsval's. (And, while we're piling it on, their band logo, which looks like a fried egg stuck in a dead lilac bush, probably isn't stoking much in the way of merch sales.) But the savviest of death metal bastards will tell you this:
Vore fucking rules.
Why? Because they're dedicated. They've chosen a trade--no-frills, mid-paced, ball-swinging death metal--and devoted their lives to perfecting it. Gravehammer is their latest chronicle, and it further cements Vore as a death metal fan's death metal band.
Much like 2005's Maleficus, Gravehammer doesn't blow its load immediately; in fact, it's best digested passively. Press play, put the thing at a moderate volume, and wait. Page Townsley's simplistic riffing and colossal growls cruise along, but this ride is built on rails of rhythm. When he links up with drummer Remy Cameron and they find a streamrollin' sweet spot, Vore is absolutely nuclear.
Gravehammer relies on steady, stern pacing in the Bolt Thrower mold, thornwrapping it with clean, burly, Floridian production. Swagger is in plentiful supply, as is a knack for flogging the living shit out of a killer riff... and knowing exactly when to let it go.
For example, take the vertebreaking bliss that they've nailed into the midsection of "Doomwhore," which might be the most catastrophic megaton riffbomb since SYL dropped "Aftermath." Or the pulverizing knuckledown of "The Claw is the Law," which fully compensates for whatever Inspector Gadget memories are conjured with help-my-blood-just-turned-to-lead heaviness.
Vore is, and always has been, a band of moments, but this fact doesn't trivialize the whole. On Gravehammer, they exhibit their expert ability to step up at the right times while also engaging throughout the entire course of their lengthy compositions. Not every tactic in their arsenal need be lethal, and they employ their most severe attacks only when the opportunity is ideal.
These are the hallmarks of a veteran band. A veteran band that knows--and loves--its craft. Vore are consummate craftsmen. Gravehammer is a motherfucking death metal clinic, and fans and peers alike should bow before Vore's cruel tutelage. (Jordan Campbell)
Let me say this to begin: the combination of the band name “Vore”, the album title Gravehammer and this record’s cover art is the most brutal package I’ve seen this year.
This impression is not misleading, as Vore play straight up death metal, in all its crunchy, dingy, guttural glory. Their bio states “Vore’s mid-paced rhythmic style is built around strong riffs and songcraft, rather than all out speed, which sets them apart from current trends in death metal”, and this is precisely true. This band stands outside the tech onslaught that is modern death metal and lays down riffs that crush you into your chair, shatter the chair, and then flatten you into the floor. The songs evoke a desire to achieve heaviness before anything else. The occasional lead guitar interruptions, such as the solo midway through “The Unseen Hand” also prove that what I’ve described here is a stylistic choice, not a playing limitation, and one that shows a lot of maturity.
The music on Gravehammer creates sort of an atmospheric vibe that is akin to early Morbid Angel, as well as some black metal. This is most evident on the title track, as a bit of Immortal influence shines through. Some Dying Fetus comparisons can also be brought to the table, mainly when discussing the vocal delivery, as well as a Nile influence in some of slow grooves.
Vore can also be compared to death metal veterans Bolt Thrower in their riff formulations, and in the way that their songs create a wall of sound that slowly but confidently marches forth and gives the listener no choice but to submit. I think this type of death metal definitely has its place, and becomes especially relevant after listening to the new Origin and Hate Eternal albums back-to-back and starting to hear it all as an incomprehensible din. Speed is great, but hearing the riffs can be a good thing too!
One of the biggest obstacles Vore faces is that the younger ADHD generations that are currently filling the clubs at metal shows demand quickly-consumed, flashy music, which I believe is a big reasons tech stuff is so big right now. Kids get their minds blown by a song someone posted on Facebook, and then move on to the next thing. Vore, like many more old-school death metal bands, craft a sound that builds on itself and is best appreciated over the length of a whole album, which demands patience, and the ability to not skip the track if a sweep-arpeggio doesn’t occur every thirty seconds.
In the end, I don’t think Vore care one way or the other, because Gravehammer sounds amazing, and is most likely exactly what they intended it to be. Horns up for old-school brutal death metal! (Eric Burnet)
THE NEW REVIEW
Many of death metal's greatest moments are martial in nature. From Bolt Thrower's crushing cannonades to Amon Amarth's victorious marches, metal and war are inseparable companions. Vore capitalize on this synergy to great effect, plowing a potent path of aural avarice. Like the best articulations of aggression, Gravehammer has the power to physically propel a listener.
Vore aren't new kids; they've been toiling in the metal trenches since the mid '90s. The ideas they convey aren't new either, but death metal is all in the delivery. Gravehammer unfolds as a storm of swarming, chopping, chainsaw riffs, driven by a volatile rhythmic butchery. Riffs often fall into a flailing, circular churn, bolstered by the badass beats. There's plenty of hoary, hammered-on guitar work that plays well against the base bashing. Solos are sparse and purposeful, full of sane, semi-melodic sweeping that works well enough.
Frontman Page Townsley's vocals are gloriously guttural and demonically deep. The lyrics are delivered synchronously with Gravehammer's marching cadence, as if by a monomaniacal drill sergeant. Pithy, scream-along choruses beg for listener participation, or perhaps demand it.
None of Vore's weapons would work if the riffs and rhythm didn't rip off your head; Gravehammer does that consistently and voraciously. Remy Cameron's flawlessly executed drums direct the maelstrom with panache and precision. Perfectly innocuous production lets this thing speak for itself. You'll want to listen. Every day is a fight to the death; Gravehammer is a perfect soundtrack to your quotidian combat.(Atanamar Sunyata)
First- just look at the cover… (courtesy of renowned fantasy artist Daarken whose work you’ve have seen grace games like Warhammer Online and Warcraft games ). FUCKING LOOK AT IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If that doesn’t make flaming metal skulls shoot from your cocks/vaginas, you simply don’t like metal.
Second, how in the fuck is Arkansas’s Vore still not signed, how is this album still Self Released? Especially with THAT cover??????? Jungle Rot is on Victory Records for crying out loud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I reviewed this band’s excellent (also self released) second effort Maleficus back in 2005, and speaking of Jungle Rot, I made a direct comparison between the two bands. Vore play a similar style of mid paced, chugging, simple, but downright effective form of death metal that’s no frills and completely un-inventive, death metal but (also like Jungle Rot‘s surprisingly good last CD, Kill On Command) it just hits the goddamned spot.
The production is clear and hefty, and the vocals are bare bones deep growls, but Vore need no window dressing as Gravehammer is all about the riff. Huge, thunderous almost doomy death metal riffs that lumber and lope like WWII battle tanks and covering machine gun fire. And while Vore may not be a ‘war metal’ band , their overall tone and gait certainly imbues all things, fiery, metal-y, shrapnel-y, destruction-y and war-y.
From opener “The Cruelest Construct” to closer “Sacerdotum Tyrannis”, Vore aren’t trying to make you like them, aren’t trying to wow you technicality or force any old school nostalgia down your throat. They just play death metal. From the groove half way into the opener, to the huge opening rumble of “Doomwhore”, to massive middle section of the title track, epic “The Claw is the Law” and the final, huge, militant march of “Progeny of the Leviathans”, Gravehammer delivers huge, satisfying 4- 8 minute chunks of double bass salvos and controlled, menacing hefty riffs meant for true death metal fans.
With nary a blast beat in sight, Gravehammer, simply bludgeons and rumbles with a Bolt Thrower like precision and pace. And while my 2011 year end list may have the likes of Obscura, Origin, and Ulcerate on it, you can bet Gravehammer will still be a heavy rotation for a long time to come. It just has a throwback, honest feel that reeks of death metal’s true, original tenets.
Buy this. (Erik Thomas)
TEETH OF THE DIVINE
A couple of years ago I got a promo CD by Arkansas-based death metallers Vore requesting a review of their latest full length offering Maleficus. I tossed the disc at the bottom of a box after just one look at the fucking awful cover art that looks like a shitty mix of Deicide’s trifixion logo from Legion and Morbid Angel’s stupid pentagram logo from Domination. I assumed the material contained within would suck as much as the cover art and forgot about it until I recently started digging up old promo material to review. After sitting down and listening to Maleficus I gave myself a swift punch to the temple for judging a book by it’s cover because this album is fucking badass!
The music of Vore is old school death metal fused with modern death metal in the vein of Morbid Angel, Malevolent Creation, Nile, Grave, Obituary, Incantation and Immolation. The thing that really surprised the fuck out of me is the material on Maleficus is just as strong as the early works of those aforementioned bands.
The riffs are thick and chuggy with a meaty bass tone, backed by a steady percussive assault fronted by deep powerful growls. It’s impossible to listen to Maleficus while sitting still, the steady rhythm is hypnotic and infectious and it’ll get your head nodding and toes tapping on the very first listen. There’s a surprising amount of variety to the songs despite the steady rhythm throughout the release, it’s obvious the guys in this band put a lot of effort into song writing on this one, because every track kills!
By the time you’ve listened to it a handful of times you’ll be growling along while air drumming and air guitaring like a fanboy. This is one of those discs you really need to listen to in a room by yourself otherwise people will think you’re a fucking retard growling into your fist and air guitaring.
Vore has a sound that’ll leave you feeling like the disc was released back in ‘91 and you’ve been listening to it for the past 17 years. I honestly have to say after listening to this album I can’t believe they haven’t been picked up by Ibex Moon Records or someone even bigger than that. There are no bad songs on Maleficus, beginning to end it’s ridiculously catchy, heavy and straight up fucking evil.
I made the mistake of waiting 3 years to listen to Vore, make sure you don’t wait as long as I did to check them out. Seriously, somebody sign this fucking band!
Shame on you death metal labels. While busy churning out mindless hordes of gore grind and releasing mediocre efforts from bands like Torture Killer, Hate Eternal, Divine Empire, Bile, Krisiun or even rehashing the past with the likes of Obituary and Cryptopsy and a band like Vore remains criminally unsigned.
While most of the underground is obsessed with speed and technicality and while I appreciate bands like Decapitated and Nile and Decrepit Birth blowing me away, I am a bit of a death metal fossil, preferring restraint, control and a lumbering slower pace to sheer velocity, and Vore are masters of this craft with Maleficus being a foreboding, superbly crafted effort that culls Immolation and Morbid Angel’s slow moments and Nile’s epic slowdowns.
With nary a blast beat in site, Vore’s mid paced yet pummeling pace is graced by a superb production and powerful vocal clarity that simply outdoes about 80% of the death metal I have heard in the last year. From the he Nile-like, chant laden grooves of the opening title track, to the closing of “Fall Unto Chaos”, Maleficus left me grinning, slamming and grimacing with its controlled yet articulate throes of staggering, lurching death metal. The almost doom like gait isn’t too lethargic or drawn out, just perfectly balanced with menacing, churning, mid tempo salvos of force.
The thing is, it’s not just simple mid paced drivel like Jungle Rot, Vore exude a aura of titanic power and depth within their structures. Every song has some sort of neck snapping, fist clenching climactic groove that registers on some sort of personal musical Richter scale; from the precise, unflinching pace of “The Line That Divides”, the mammoth mid section of “Threshold of Empowerment”, the initially more urgent “Wrath Wrought Ruin” and the perfect closure of “Fall Unto Chaos”, Maleficus kept my attention throughout. Something not many modern death metal albums have done. And even with the album’s relatively singular pace, each song has its own personality and dynamics- a credit to Vore’s song writing skills. “Legion of Martyrs” and “Ashes” give brief, but rather needless interludes, but show Vore's competence in other areas beside pummeling death metal. My only minor gripe would be the brevity of the songs and the album, I'd love to hear what Vore would do with an 11 minute epic or something.
I wholeheartedly recommend Maleficus to death fans AND labels alike....( Are you reading this Listenable?)
For the uninitiated, the cult status of 2001’s Lord of Storms cemented this band as American death metal heavy hitters; it also raised the bar of expectation considerably for their long awaited second album. Producing music in as obscure a place as Arkansas combined with the inherent mystique of a superb first album by a little known band is, in any circle, a recipe for fan disappointment with the second outing. When a band ends up with an album that receives name drop status among the most discerning of fans it’s almost as if an expectation of failure is placed upon them to cement that one album in time as classic.
Vore are bound by no such expectations; crossing the mountainous range of presumptions with ease, this veritable panzer division of death metal rumble across the pass leaving nothing but scattered bodies and burning carnage in their wake. As measured and deliberate in their assault as classic Bolt Thrower, the tactics employed on Maleficus can seem deceptively simple at times. Some of the dual guitar work and dexterous riffing even draw comparisons to the mighty Immolation if that hallowed name were caked in eons of frost and lumbering at the pace of some iron construct come awake to defend its master. Some may mention a vague resemblance to Nile due to a few well orchestrated epic and antiquated instrumentals; those seeking the speed and mindless blasting that band has built a fan base around should look elsewhere.
A rich and earthy percussion rules the pace of this album with tempered malice. Vore’s second album gives off the impression one could peek in on their practice space and hear the exact same quality both in terms of sound and skill. There is nothing over produced or falsified here. From the flawless interplay between guitar players and the unceasing percussion to the multidimensional vocal performance that uses only moderate phasing and delay for effect, this album delivers in a robust no-frills fashion. For those seeking a band well versed in the old ways who are unafraid to follow their own muse, look no further.(Patrick Dawson)
With years of experience and hard work under their belt to control and perfect their death metal attack, finally Vore delivers a powerful assault of enormous death metal proportions. Not to say 2001’s Lord Of Storms was a dismal release – far from it – it’s just that on the new album this Arkansas death metal regime has managed to capture the true spirit of death metal with an ambitious and truly potent collection of songs that radiate an aura of yesteryear (think old-school Obituary/Florida death metal scene) with a modern edge (Nile/Hate Eternal). There are thrash driven metal spots that help keep the aggressive flow on edge and even an instrumental number to change things up, but when Vore are firing on all cylinders you better stand back (the title track, “The Line That Divides” and “Fall Unto Chaos”). Throw in bonus points for some impressive dual vocal/guitar duties and a nice production to add some punch and Maleficus deserves to be heard. Vore are indeed a band to watch out for in 2006. 8/10.(Adrian Bromley)
In a world where straight-up death metal seems to be on a race to blast-beating oblivion, it takes dedication to stick doggedly with a rhythmic, midtempo, song-oriented style. Perhaps this is why, despite ten years of persistence in the underground and props from fellow metal travelers, this American death metal unit remains unsigned, operating in Arkansas, in relative isolation from the industry. But their doom-tinged, old-school-informed assault remains untainted, and by following their own muse, VORE have created a work of lasting import and crushing prowess.
"Maleficus" will appeal to those who liked the new OBITUARY — but where the OBIE-sound usually has that swinging metal gallop to it, even at their slowest, VORE is a more staid, precise, funereal prospect. Dark, atmospheric interludes like the martial "Legion of Martyrs" and the acoustic "Ashes" offset grim, deceptively simplistic riffs and tightly controlled lockstep grooves, inexorable as a Sherman tank (a fitting analogy, since the only active band this single-minded that I can think of is BOLT THROWER).
The vocals have an anguished, live, unprocessed sound to them that fits the rest of the album — you hear strings squeal, the bass has a sick, churning feel to it, there's even that little bit of earphones-only hiss when one guitar starts a song and the other hasn't come in yet. Despite this off-the-floor vibe, the band is not only heavy as leaden hell, but they're ridiculously tight, the kick drum locked in with the riffs more often than not. VORE is the kind of band that got good the old-fashioned, computer-free way — by fucking bleeding for it, day in and day out, in the practice room.
With six proper songs and two interludes, "Maleficus" may be a little on the short side for a full-length. It's a testament to the band's quality, though, that when "Fall Unto Chaos" ends, the listener is left wanting more. VORE are practitioners of a primal, savage strain of death metal that's infinitely more effective than blasts-in-a-blender, drum triggers and overprocessed burping vocals – these are the sort of clenched-fist riffs and desperate, grave-dirt-caked vocals that made people scared of death metal in the first place.
I'd love to see these guys out on the road with someone as stalwart and proud as they are of their take on the bleeding roots of death metal — IMMOLATION comes to mind. It'd also be nice to see someone step in and get these guys in front of a wider audience, although truth be told, they're doing a better job for themselves than many underground labels would for them. VORE is a pillar of the American death metal scene, pure and simple, and if you claim to be a fan, "Maleficus" should be next on your purchase list. (Keith Bergman)
The ancient death machine continues to churn, long after the industry handed out a "10 year" life expectancy so many years ago, and with young bands such as Vore continuing on with the fight, I don't see an end. "Dead Kings Eyes" was a well written power chord crunch fest of stern early 90's death worship, that bloodied the listener with an unfaltering plod. Vore are holding true to their style on "Lord of Storms", maybe adopting more of a connection with "Soulless" era Grave, than the Obituary influence that was evident on their debut. Rarely breaking into a fierce gallop, fans of slow and torturous death metal will revel in the down tuned hammering of well placed palm mutes, and riff harmonies that are very catchy in their simplicity. With Vore, less is always more, and though such a stalwart affinity for mid paced rhythms may be challenging to endure since the speed and perplexing technicality of modern death metal has all but killed this style, repeated listens unveils a cavernous groove in their music where the outline of broken bodies can be seen littering the bottom of such a vast, mist veiled chasm. Guitarist/vocalists Page Townsley and John Voelker may center on a guttural death moan, but know enough to decorate important transitions in a song with a more threatening mid-ranged snarl. This adds some effective variety, before the instrumental/acoustic track "Opaque" shows off just how much talent the members of this band have with a great classical guitar piece. No frills. No speed. Just mighty and dreadful death metal the way it used to be. This scene really needs a band like Vore. "Lord of Storms" is an enjoyable breath of dank coffin air.(Marty Rytkonen)
Vore's Lord of Storms offers a mix of thrash and death with a brutal edge. The presentation and sound is more professional than any band so far this column, but is that a reason to charge $ 14 ? True, they are dynamic. Equally impressive is the solid guitar work/vocals from Page Townsley and John Voelker. These two guys really set the music in motion with an impressive array of ideas, from heavy growls to acoustic work ( " Opaque " ). Nothing seems forced or out of place here as Vore move from track to track ( check out " Host of Abominations " and " Agony " ), beautifully mastering their metallic craft, while unafraid to add new visions and elements to theIr sound. Almost any fan of metal will find solace in the works of Vore.
This is one of those CDs that really does not belong in the category of "demo". Lord of Storms is an independently released ten song album. Vore is a band that I will be looking forward to hearing from in the near future. Vore have managed to produce a truly excellent metal album without being signed to a label. Furthermore, they have managed to get Relapse to sell the album through their mailorder department. I strongly recommend you go and buy it right now.
The style is somewhere between death and black metal. Vore's sound is dark and rhythmic with lots of classical overtones and some interesting keyboard parts and samples. The riffs are really heavy, the songs are good, and the musicianship is excellent. One of my favorite songs is "Opaque" which is a ten minute long classical guitar piece. Truly an excellent piece of music by any standards. It's not at all trite or cheesy. It really is a wonderful piece of music that can stand on its own.
Another favorite song of mine is "To Be A God." The song has some of the best guitar riffs on the record. The sound is heavy and thick. The more I listen, the more I like it. In fact, the whole CD is packed with good, machine gun guitar riffs. The album is very listenable. It is not so extreme or crazy as to make your head spin. Vore write good, rhythmically driven songs that hold your attention and make your head nod involuntarily.
I have very few criticisms of this record. One criticism is that there are a couple of places where the recording sounds a little screwy. It could be me, but I think I'm hearing some weird clicks that shouldn't be there and I think I hear a dropout at one point. Another criticism is that the songs are all around the same tempo. If Vore spiced things up with a few faster tracks it would give a little spark to the album. Otherwise, they seem to have everything under control. Go see this band, check out their website and buy their CD.
God damn Hell fucking yes! After their awesome Dead King’s Eyes VORE has finally returned to once again kick the asses of true Death Metal freaks worldwide. This album may seem strange to newer fans of extremity, because there is no Grind influence here, unlike most other current Death Metal bands, but I assure you that this is plenty brutal and intense. And also just this close to perfection. - 9.75 (Ray Miller)
Finally a band that is heavy as fuck without cloning every other death metal band. VORE play mid tempo /slow death metal thatis still very extreme & heavy as fuck! VORE can play slamming death metal without the blast beat's or the moosh groove that bands like CRYPTOPSY use & can still be very fucking heavy. VORE may be a difference maker as far as the death metal scene goes! VORE could be one of the death metal bands of the future without following current trands in todays death metal .
Hailing from the Ozark Mountains of Northwestern Arkansas, the band has release their latest full-length entitled "Lord Of Storms." These death minded musicians take a classic approach to their music, much like the sound of the early nineties death metal bands. And as I said earlier, it's brutal, heavy and guttural rolled into one catchy death metal band. There are ten tracks on this CD with around fifty minutes of crunchy sounding guitars and vomiting vocals. Vore's style reminds me somewhat of the band from the mid-nineties called Gutted and maybe a little bit of Dying Fetus as well. The riffing maybe nothing to technical, but it is very catchy at times. My favorite songs on this CD include "Veils Of Oblivion," "To Be A God," and "Forging A New Vision." Some other songs that are decent are "Godslayer" and "Lurker Above." This is a pretty good death metal album, some good songs and riffs. And how many death metal bands do you know from the Ozarks of Arkansas? Well I definitely know one now, and some of you people should check them out as well.
Death metal with excellent guitar riffs that put the accent on the rhythm instead of the speed. I can listen in this guys some influences of thrash metal, some of old death metal bands like Entombed or Dismember, and some stuff of bands like Pantera or doom metal bands. All this influences are thrown in a mixing machine and adding some identity, here is Vore´s music. It is interesting how this guys are proving something that I think is like an axiom....that in most of the cases a good riffs ends up being heavier than a blast beat or some riff bassed only in one note speed runs. The sound of this release is good specially on the guitars and vocals, I would have mixed different the drums and put them a little bit more in the front, but the overall mix is good. Favorite tracks: "Godslayer", "Lurker Above" and "Opaque" (an instrumental with acoustic guitar...most death metal bands would have shaken with fear just imagining putting something like this on their albums).
If you're looking for flashy, speedy death metal, look elsewhere. If you're looking for solid heavy death metal that weighs down like a ton of bricks, look no further. VORE sound like they should have been on Relapse Records back at that label's beginning. I mean, they'd have fit in perfectly well next to INCANTATION and DECEASED. It's also nice to hear that someone in the band can actually play their guitar, as evidenced by the excellent-- but not overdone-- soloing. It seems that someone also pays attention to obscure Metal Nightmare factoids, as there is a sample from Conan the Barbarian, although I know I heard that same sample somewhere else recently... probably on the CULT OF DAATH demo. But using samples from that movie always wins a band brownie points, no matter how much they suck. Except in this case, VORE don't suck.
Out of all the demos that I receive, it is soooo nice getting a CD that actually kicks some serious ass! OK, I do get a lot of good unsigned bands sending their stuff in, but not many can compare to the brutality that Vore possesses. Vore play the type of death metal that I love. Obituary and maybe even Six Feet Under type riffs, with a vocalist that can growl with the best of them while still being able to understand what the hell he’s singing about. Actually, an older Death influence can be heard as well. Fast parts are thrown in here and there, not so much grind, but just some good heavy, thick riffs with some solid double bassing to add to the sickness. The acoustic track, “Opaque” is a great break in between the thrashing songs, giving you an idea how talented and classically trained guitarist John Voelker is. Nice touch. One of the higher recommended CDs this issue. I guarantee you’ll be seeing their name around. One hell of a great band. (Rod Brown)
Americans VORE play the straightest, simplest form of death metal that can be. At least that's the impression this mini-CD gives me. Clean and powerful guitars (not the chaotic ''as loud/fast/complicated as i can'' kind of thing), brutal vocals (no shit?) but also easy to follow (both singers singing, one of them sounds a lot like OBITUARY's John Tardy), a rhythm section that does its job impeccably (the bass loud enough to know there IS a bassist -- unlike most bands, and the drums sound a little ''far away'' -- should be a little louder if you ask me), lyrics mostly deriving from the realm of the imaginary. I think i managed to report all ingredients that make up the recipe called ''DEAD KINGS EYES''. Add a production of VERY high standards (with the objection of the sound of the drums that I commented on before), and a CD-cover featuring some epic artwork and there you are!
I'd like to note one thing here. There's an instrumental track in ''DEAD KINGS EYES'' that is comprised entirely of acoustical guitars. It's a 3-minute track called ''Albion''. This here work of art --and call me an overreacting s.o.b. if you want-- is the most BEAUTIFUL piece of music I've ever listened to. I like acoustical parts/songs a lot. ''Albion'' is the best of the best. In my mind come pictures and sounds from medieval lands every time I listen to it. Medieval lands and inns and bards and people gathered around the fireplace, with lots of drink and food, on a rainy night to listen to stories of battles and heroes and dragons... (so I've a strong imagination so what?)
I love this CD !! I must stress...I really love this CD !! I even interviewed them. VORE reminds me of Obituary, although they are not a clone by any means. VORE happily plods away on the six songs here at a medium pace. It's just enough to get your head banging comfortably and not out of control. There are no blast beats on here and I can say with a clear conscience that they're not missed. VORE proves you can play melodic-yet-crushing Death MEtal without blast beats and guitars that sound like a swarm of bees. This would be one of my favorite CD's of 1999 if it wasn't for the fact that this wasn't released in 1999. Pure crunch ! You'll be turning this up loud..real loud ! They even have a cool logo with an eyeball in it. Eyeballs rule !! Dead Kings Eyes is a must have demo !!
VORE come from Arkansas of U.S.A. and were formed in June 94, after the disbanding of MAUSOLEUM that lasted for 5 years and in which 2 members of VORE were involved. In 95 they release their one, and only up to know, demo called "To Devour" in 400 copies and although their sound wasn't the best possible, it managed to create some commotion around the name of the band. One of the tracks included, "To Be A God", was re-recorded in 96 to be included in some local compilation CD called "Rurals To Live By". Now they make their re-appearence in the scene with this self-financed miniCD, "Dead Kings Eyes". It contains 6 really interesting tracks with very good production (one is an instrumental with acoustic guitars). Their music could be described as rythmical, mid-tempo and very heavy death-thrash metal leaning towards Florida's scene (mainly DEATH and OBITUARY) with vocals very reminiscing of John Tardy (OBITUARY). They seem more focused on "size" rather than speed. Yet they succeed in NOT being boring, although i usually recommend such releases in order to get sleepy. Their playing sounds really "tied", while their riffs are easy to remember. They surely have the potential and the ability to do
something good that will raise them to the top of the american death metal hierarchy. Generally i think it's worth taking them into consideration as well as investing in them by buying their cd .
4.5 skulls (out of 6)(Haris Katinakis).
METAL INVADER MAGAZINE
If you're a zine reader then you've seen the name VORE. The band is very good at self promotion and I always wondered if the music lived up to the promotion. Well, yes, it does. Death Metal bands usually have to take a few years before they carve out their own niche, VORE have already settled in nicely. With six tracks on the disc, VORE have a mid tempo style that really works to their advantage. Judging by what I hear, the band is headed in the right direction and also a key plus is the experimental aspect that is what I and a lot of others look for in a band."
Slow tempo death metal with gutterish vocals and great musicianship make up this six song release. There is also a beautiful instrumental entitled 'Albion' on this disk, which was a nice change of pace. I wonder how much these guys spent on production of this CD because the sound quality is remarkable. Some of the sickest riffs are present here. I must mention that VORE's logo is also kick ass and the cover art is rather interesting. Oh yeah, lyrics are also included ! Record labels, you need to open up your eyes because everything about this band rules !"
These guys are so fucking metal it hurts !!! VORE care not for being the fastest band in the world, only the FUCKING HEAVIEST !!! Bludgeoning mid-tempo thrash/death metal seems like a good start at describing them, but you really just have to hear this band !"
SPIKED IMPALEMENT 'ZINE
VORE play a thrash/death style of music reminiscent of old early 90's death/thrash bands. Some bands that come to mind are are old Death, Dark Angel, old Obituary & Epidemic. The music is extrememly heavy, but isn't speed driven. VORE shows you don't have to be the fastest, the darkest or the evilest to be able to play heavy & really strong metal. The music is tight & the 2 guitarists share the vocals also. I'm not big on guitar dominated bands, but as good as these guys are, who cares what's dominating ! The only thing I'd like to see changed is to add more songs. True death heads, check it out.
SATAN'S CANDY BASKET
It's bands like VORE that remind me why I like this kind of music. They're heavy and strait up in your face, but not like speed demons and the music is done very professional and you can hear it. Many bands in this genre can play, but when you listen to them, they seem to just get by. VORE is an exception to the rule, they are heavy and taunting to the mind. I want them to speed up because that's the way I am, but they keep me in check and make me bang my head on the floor and it hurts sooo good !!! If you like slower death you'll really get into this. Wish there were more tracks on here. Maybe next time.
When a band simply tries an attempt at the unusual that's good enough for my approval. VORE play death metal in the mid tempo crunching style without a whole lot of guitar solos, but in their place are these cool little black metal influenced sections and other very interesting musical passages. These guys also use the two vocalist approach better than I've heard. " Right Cross " proves that. Then there's this tune called " Albion " which is an almost three minute acoustic piece that sets this band firmly on their own ground. This disc absolutely rules, great production and cover art make it complete.
I enjoy getting tapes from exotic locales like the far east, central america or Arkansas. C'mon, I can't even think of another band from that mid-west state but VORE aren't just some yokels off the farm because this six song demo CD is a fairly professional affair with some lethal death metal. Staying within the realms of the American sound, VORE have a strong connection with the Florida scene musically as there are a lot of references to Death and Obituary within the tunes. Nonetheless, those are two great bands so VORE can't be all bad. Their playing is pretty tight and the guitar duo ( who also handle vocals ) come up with some memorable riffs and breaks so maybe keep an eye on this quartet because they already have plans to follow it up with another self financed disc in '98. (Marco Barbieri)
Absolutely kick ass death from beginning to end. Everything about this disc is close to perfect, & I expect to see them signed soon ! 9.5/10 (Ray Miller)
VORE are definitely not your typical sounding American death metal band. Why ? Well, for starters, there's not blast beats on any of the songs. Not a one...nope. Nothing. Second, they play heavy and slow music. Not " one-eyed " lurching riffs like Obituary, but still heavy. Third, VORE's music is based on rhythm, not flash. Like I said, there's no " water-sprinkler " blast beats that are thrown in the music in a lame attempt to impress you. Besides VORE's different approach to death metal, there was one other thing that really grabbed my attention, and that was their chant of " The Charm of Making " from Excalibur, on " Summon the Nameless ". For nine dollars, you too can summon them, right into your own home.
Death Metal at its worst ! For torturing people with this rotten music, this band should be tied down in a room and forced to listen to the Spice Girls backwards continuously for two weeks strait as payment for their crime of releasing such horrible art that has no redeeming value.
METAL CRUSADE REPORT
This debut, self-financed CD by Arkansas' VORE is so stripped down with bruising rhythms of power ala Obituary, that their minimal approach to songwriting is sure to get overlooked in the swarming pack of technical, 100 mph death bands. Armed with a presence that is firmly rooted in the brutal arts mastered by the American scene, VORE doesn't concern themselves with speed or flashy riffs, for they seem to be quite skilled at sinking all they have into painfully mid-paced bar chord rhythms which after several listens, will club you over the head with an unshakable groove. Both guitarists trade off vocals that are gutteral, yet completely discernable and their style seems to add to the strangely memorable mix that VORE gouged into my brain with.
I need a lot more going on musically to maintain my interest in a band of this stature, but the way the vocal structures interact with the simplistic, though hammering plod of the attack, was suprisingly perfect in holding my attention. The all acoustic track " Albion " adds a touch of class and variety while " Suffer the Slave " finds a hint of keyboards creeping into the double bass plod of the drum work to provide a dimension of atmosphere.
VORE isn't setting the world on fire with technical finesse, but I'll be damned if they haven't tapped into a collapsed vein and injected a solid dose of memorable death with just plain ingenious songwriting hooks. " Dead Kings Eyes " have definitely opened mine to the fact that I really need to give bands of this ilk a second or third chance before reaming them out with words. As is the case with VORE, once I got past such cosmetics such as a familiar guitar tone or particular style of singing, the actual musical content was worth this band's weight in gore. Old style death metal fans that aren't turned off from an unwavering, mid-paced tempo, should check this out. (Marty Rytkonen)
A six song, with one of them being a decent acoustic instrumental track, CD demo is what we have here. VORE play death metal with the low gutteral vocals layed down over top of some slow to mid-tempo riffs. There is little speed to be found here. Granted, I do feel that on their next release they could interject a few fast parts now and then, they at least don't play the same shit as most other death metal bands. They maintain their heaviness without speed, something most bands can't do.