Vermiform – “Everlasting Horror” review

“Everlasting Horror”
Masters of Metal Productions, 2009
Rating: 8/10

This is the album I should not have enjoyed as much as I did. While I occasionally enjoy few songs by bands like Malevolent Creation or Obituary, old school Florida death metal has never been my favorite genre, so Vermiform’s debut album took me by surprise and refused to let go.

Sometimes, a genre might need a decade or two in order to mature (or, as might be the case with some of the intentionally uglier styles, to fester in the ground) before it can become fresh again. “Everlasting Horror” is a result of musicians with appreciation for the genre getting together to pay tribute to everything that was good about the genre, and as such, it succeeds. This is raw old school death metal as seen through the eyes of the fans, but regurgitated into the XXIst century in all its primitive, ugly glory.

From buzzsaw guitars to gurgling low-pitched vocals, Vermiform makes no excuse for what they are trying to do. There are more than a few (intentional) parallels between “Everlasting Horror” and early works by Obituary or Morbid Angel, more so the former than the latter. And while I must confess that Obituary tends to lose my attention after a few songs, Vermiform has enough sensitivity for smart, hook-laden (as much as this can apply to death metal of non-melodic variety) songwriting to keep things interesting.

The songs have a certain charm and enthusiastic energy about them, raising them beyond the level of mere imitations and making them into credible contributions to the genre. The lo-fi nature of production is an asset to the raw atmosphere of the album. Whether Vermiform remains within the genre confines or ventures away from the safe grounds into more melodic territory (“At the Mountains of Madness”, which utilizes some melodic riffs and even occasional clean vocal), the result is a very satisfying experience. It may not be the most innovative or unique offering in the realm of old-school death metal, but “Everlasting Horror” knows its limitations, and delivers on all accounts.

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