Opus Mortis VIII

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Veteran Swedish quartet Vomitory have been (not so quietly) holding down the fort of classic death metal since their 1989 inception, delighting fans of bands like Entombed, Venom, Slayer, and Sodom for over 20 years. Clocking in at just under 37 minutes, Opus Mortis VIII does little to tarnish the group’s solid reputation. Brutal, technical without being flashy, and mercilessly dark, the ten tracks that adorn their eighth studio outing do little to further the genre, yet offer up a master class in how to do it right. Opener “Regorge in the Morgue” briefly hints at a serpentine groove, then achieves a blistering pace that’s held together by some truly explosive guitar work and Tobias Gustafsson's precision drumming (the drum mix on Opus Mortis is superb). Elsewhere, tracks like “Combat Psychosis” and “Forever Damned” introduce clever, elusive melodies to the mix, while the moody intro to “Hate in a Time of War” offers a much needed breath before launching into a mammoth, Sabbath-inspired, midtempo hate-fest that rarely lets up once the launch button is pressed. Short and bittersweet, Opus Mortis VIII sounds fresh enough for the 21st century and stoic enough to thaw the black hearts of death metal and thrash purists, if only for a half-an-hour.

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