By Tim Newman
TFW Contributing Writer
The fourth, independently-released and self-financed album from metal trio Vore, “Gravehammer,” certainly takes a minute to grow on the non-avid listener of metal music. Rest assured, this is more than just unintelligible growling over heavy distortion and seemingly never-ending double bass. The precision of musicianship is something at which to awe, but this album is definitely not for the typical music connoisseur.
The overall mixing, mastering and clear recording is what sets this band apart from all the other garage metal bands — you know, the ones you would make a noise complaint on if they were to practice on your street. Unlike most of today’s metal, “Gravehammer” is sludgy in sound and tempo and often very straightforward, leaving behind any attempts to branch into other musical genres. This album flaunts itself as a straight-up metal album, and it succeeds.
The deep, guttural vocals of singer/guitarist Page Townsley, are reminiscent of any Cannibal Corpse album; take your pick. The rhythm guitar tracks, in spite of being accented with many frills and well-executed lead-in riffs, become a monotonous cycle of excessive palm-muting and furious tremolo picking as the record progresses.
Although the overall technique is impressive, the guitar solos seem formulaic — almost as if the obligatory “metal solo” is as far as it goes. For as good as Townsley is at shredding, there should be a lot more going on. “Gravehammer” would feel more complete with a lot more layering.
I think Jeremy Partin is talented enough to be following along with the rhythm guitar’s tremolo picking and filler licks, but with the deepness of the guitar and the brutality of the drums, the bass tracks are largely hidden, except for a few standout moments in “The Claw Is The Law” and the opening of “Doomwhore.”
Drummer Remy Cameron adds to the impressiveness of this three piece band by delivering a solid, precise performance while blast-beating through rhythm heavy tracks.
For any metal aficionado, “Gravehammer” is nothing new or progressive. Even though the album is well-done in numerous aspects, it’s all been done before. So, before buying this, go have a few drinks and join in with the headbangin’ at the album release show at The Rogue on Friday. Doors open at 9 p.m.