Given that I’ve been recovering from a particularly nasty virus and piled some mayo-based pasta salad of a questionable age on top of a hangover stomach this morning, starting a review of a band called Vomitrot’s debut album was probably not a wise decision on my part. As I downed a lukewarm glass of orange juice and pressed play, I never could have known just how grotesque it would become.
At this point, I can already feel the warm phlegm building up at the edge of my throat. A deep swallow just barely keeps it at bay.
“Primitive Puke” gives a slightly better glimpse into the murky guitar tone, kicking off briefly with a singular riff that is quickly followed by it’s barraging counterparts in the rhythm and vocal departments. Brief respites hinting at a slower doom section pop up for half a measure like a momentary choking breath between heathenous hurls. Eventually a few bars of doom give way, trudging forward like a labored beast before all hell breaks loose. The vicious growl that closes the song is simply bloodcurdling–Vomitrot are pushing their very bodies to the limit on Rotten Vomit.
By the time I reach the third track, it plays out like a prophecy. “Emesis” finally pulls a technicolor yawn from my gut. A mix of the rotini, orange juice, and beer blend together with blasphemous bile and come flying up my esophagus and spew forth from my mouth as I match Vomitroth’s opening “BLUARUGH.” It coats the floor. The primitive pounding of the drums continue to pump my stomach of things I haven’t even eaten in weeks. Ravioli, spinach, Lucky Charms, corn, spaghetti, stickers, bananas, double cheeseburgers, bits of scrap metal, cucumbers, alfredo sauce, chicken, glue–you name it, it’s there. With every searing pick scrape, my guts give birth to new contents to add to the growing pile. The slower, ominously building mid-tempo dances in tandem with my gravity-defying bowel regurgitation. I really should stop to clean up, but nothing stops for metal, least of all something this delectably gross. On with the review.
Oh, “Vomiting Unholy Gore” is next. How appropriate. A brief roll comes across the drum kit and it’s back to infernal blasting. As the tempo slows back down to a sinister crawl, the vomit pile at my feet begins to twitch. “It’s gotta be the punishing low-end of the bass from my speakers, right?” I think to myself. It’s the only explanation. With every rapid fire shift to brief respites of doom that adds punctuation to the song, the blasphemous barf almost seems to come to life.
Ok, no. I’m not imagining it. When the razor-sharp high end of the tremolo riff on “Pus Belcher” washes over the ominous tritonal evil at the mid-section, all my windows go dark. The clouds black out the sun; the unholy upchuck begins to rise before me. It all becomes clear: I am trapped within Vomitrot’s impious purge ritual. The sickening interlude of “Vomiting Black Sludge Upon the Crushed Skulls of Our Enemies” spells my impending doom amongst the looming organ tones and ghostly moans that craft its atmosphere. The vomit itself begins to gurgle wetly with the agonizing vocals, draping itself over my body. I don’t understand its words, but I know what it craves. It hungers. It yearns to be fed. I jam a finger down my throat and purge again.
“Upheaval of Vomit” lumbers its way into the soundscape as I begin to vomit not only food, but blood, pus, animal fur, bones, feathers, and chunks of stomach lining into the insatiable beast of bile. As the music grows more powerful, so does the monstrosity’s hunger: It lets out a harrowing roar. Its gooish form washes and churns with the mid-pace of the tune. “Damn, at least the music is killer,” I think to myself as the vile vomit becomes more and more ravenous. The tone is absolutely crushing and oppressive, perfectly reflecting my predicament–this is some wonderfully executed primitive black/death mixed with just enough evil magic in its raw production to give it real power without ever falling into the trappings of monotony.
I continue to feed the pukewarm creature, violently expelling my insides across the second half of the ritual until I have nothing left to offer from my belly. I fight against it, but “Bludgeoned By Puke” gives the creature too much power. The violent finale has gifted this now-massive abomination the strength to swallow me whole. The rumble of the kick drums spin and slosh me in the horrendous mess like a washing machine. Horrified, I realize the unholy upchuck is beginning to digest me. My howls of pain and impending mortality match that of the frantic, hoarse vocal delivery. I feel my consciousness slowly fading with the music at the end of the record, the beast steadily settling me within its bowels. If only I could make IT puke…
I press play again.