Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Vital Remains - Dechristianize (2003)

Ugh! What a horrible fucking album! Ok, ok... "some" of the riffs and some of the leadwork is cool, but god-motherfuckin'-DAMN do these cocksuckers know how to beat a dead horse into the ground, especially the infernal soccer Pop himself, Mr. Glen fuckin' Benton (oh Boy). Perhaps this album wouldn't be such an excruciatingly monotonous experience to endure if it weren't for the fact that ol' GB persists on incessantly "singing" over each and every conceivable nook and cranny throughout the album's duration. I mean, who ok'd this shit? It's like going to shake a little pepper into your stew and having the top come off accidentally, resulting in one hell of a mess. I wouldn't eat it. Would you?

I guess I should mention that I was actually surprised at how far VR advanced musically since the Jeff Gruslin days. The band's first two or three albums were average at best with nothing terribly interesting or offensive going on. '2000's 'Dawn of the Apocalypse' saw the band take a huge step forward in terms of musicianship and delivery overall (largely due to the involvement of the many tentacled Dave Suzuki). Personally, I think the bald druggie who sang on that album was probably the best vocalist the band has ever had.

Unfortunately, fast forward to 2003 and it would appear that Glen Benton's ego insisted on cramming his haggard roar over each and every note fluctuation on the album. Quite the unfortunate move considering that ol' horseshoe head hasn't really sounded all that good, vocally, since roughly around the release of 'Once Upon the Cross'. I always felt that the cracks in his performance began to transform themselves into gaping chasms around the time 'Serpents of the Light' was released. That's too bad considering that his performance on Deicide's debut is one of the greatest of all time. Here (and on pretty much everything he's performed on since, be it VR or his mainstay act) Glenny Boy sounds like he's angrily gargling balls pretty much from start to finish. Not good Glenny Boy. Not good at all.

Again, I never viewed VR as anything special and all I can really say about this album is that they went from exhibiting a more plodding and painfully predictable style of third tier death metal to advancing (?) to a more frenzied and overwhelmingly obnoxious style of mediocrity. Either or, VR is not, has never been and probably will never be my thing.

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