This is such a reoccurring theme on this blog that maybe I should devote an entire section to it: bands I’ve dismissed or purposefully overlooked to later find out are actually rad.
No point in burying the lead here. I heard some of Vital Remains 2007 album Icons of Evil and didn’t care for it, and that was the last I thought of Vital Remains. Aside from the fact that everybody seems to love them and their shirts are ever present at shows and on YouTube I just never bothered with them. That is until the other day when my buddy Ben, whose recommendations I trust implicitly, said “You should check out these two albums.” Forever Underground was one of them.
And I did.
And yes, it’s some damn fucking good death metal. What really struck me was how well they incorporated black metal influences without it being so in your face or a “black/death” sort of thing. I think the band, on this album at least, is firmly planted in the death metal genre but those flairs, and interweaving of blackened elements is pretty flawless. It’s brutal. It’s furious. It’s fucking killer.
That is until the third song, “I am God” which puts the album over the top. The addition of the acoustic, classical guitar, heavily laid over the riffing fury under them, takes this song to another level. It all swirls together with some well placed electric guitar interludes matching the acoustics, then BAM! Right into some crushing Krisiun style galloping death metal guitars and a killer solo. This song made me sit up and take notice and the rest of the album fucking had me.
Damn, why did I fucking sleep on this? Live and learn a wiser person than me once said.
You can get this one on Bandcamp through Osmose Productions.