Rave reviews are what I read regarding Vital Remains' latest, "Dawn of the Apocalypse". Vital Remains started off as a good but not too conspicuous death metal band, but their previous album ("Forever Underground") was a true classic indeed. They were also the first band that threw in acoustic guitar solos in a decidedly death metal context, or at least as far as I know. So I bought the album blind.

I haven't been disappointed, though so far the album can't yet compete with "Forever Underground". "Dawn of the Apocalypse" is a heavy-sounding, extreme death metal album with a few melodic touches, a nice acoustic guitar solo thrown into one or two tracks, and vocals quite like Banished. The album kicks off with a classical-sounding intro, after which the band launches into, more or less, death metal onslaught until the end. Most of the tracks are quite long and very fast with slower sections. Some of the tracks are more memorable than others, and it's interesting to note that there's even something like a ballad ("The Night has a Thousand Eyes"), even though on many other 'heavy' bands it might be the heaviest climax on an album. This track has a certain Type-O-Negative feel to it, particularly because of the vocal style. My personal favourite tracks are "Sanctity of Blasphemous Ruin", "Flag of Victory" and "Behold the Throne of Chaos". In this latter track there are more than one moment of distinct Morbid Angel style riffing and chaos.

A good album for the festive season :-)

Click here to check out or buy this CD



Written December 1999


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