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Vehemence: Helping The World To See

Vehemence is a group of very capable Arizona-based musicians, who really ought to showcase their talent more effectively. Death metal / extreme metal tend to force a certain musical conformity on its practitioners, so you won't always expect huge variances from one band to another. But for some stellar examples of masters in the genre look to Borknagar or Children Of Bodom. There's no denying the underlying heaviness and extreme-ness of those bands' music, but it is accomplished with class and panache. Vehemence's music is - by comparison - somewhat locked into the standards of the genre, with only a few flourishes to show their real potential. But they do it so well!

The execution on this record is excellent. The playing is tight, production is good, and the music is crushingly heavy in parts with death vocals that run from brutal growls to desperate screams and back. There's some nice guitar work - quite technical at times - although most of the album is defined by relatively clean power chords, some nice riffs, a good dual-guitar interplay, and as with most good death metal, a light piano line floats above that heaviness in many sections presenting the contrasts that set extreme metal apart. This is a very capable band, but unless you're a real extreme metal afficionado, there's little to really set Vehemence apart from their peers.

3 Stars...

...but track 6, "Alone In Your Presence", is a fine example of what these guys can do. It is a mostly instrumental piece that starts with acoustic guitars played over a soft lead guitar line, with elegant drumming and whisper-soft spoken vocals, and builds into a mild electric piece. Very nice, almost 'progressive' in nature. Now imagine if some of that finesse had been interspersed with the heavy stuff! That song alone qualifies Helping The World To See for an extra half-star.

The lyrics are also particularly good and explore subjects like war, divorce, euthanasia, "Killing For God" (suicide bombings); and of course it's all imbued with a characteristically unhealthy dose of death and horror. Another half-star for the lyrics.

Track Listing :
  1. By Your Bedside
  2. Kill For God
  3. Trinity Broadcasting (Know Your Enemy)
  4. To The Taste
  5. You Don't Have To Be Afraid Anymore
  6. Alone In Your Presence
  7. Spirit of The Solider
  8. Darkness Is Comfort
  9. What Could Go Wrong?
  10. We Are All Dying
  11. Her Beautiful Eyes

Added: January 20th 2005
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Related Link: Vehemence's Web Site
Hits: 3444
Language: english

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