"Vortex of Violence"

By Dr. Abner Mality

After listening to "Vortex of Violence", you might just feel like the poor soul screaming in the middle of the cover art here. I've followed these Chicago creeps for about 10 years now and this new album is their most primitive and slimy yet.

The band has always mixed the best aspects of Autopsy and Dismember but given it their own troglodytic twist. This time around, the production is definitely of the Autopsy vintage...dank, fetid and suffocating, like the air in an overused torture chamber. It paints a gloomy atmosphere right away and when combined with necrophilic riffs like those that start "Conjured Beings" and "Subject To Torture", it is corpse-waking music for sure. Adam Scott's trollish grunts are deeper than ever but he still retains a lot of clarity while Tom Knizner throws in ghoulish shrieks now and then to further stir the pot.

Most of the cuts are in the tried and true Cardiac Arrest vein, with "Depths of Despair" being the doomy dirge this time around while "Primitive Lunacy" perfectly captures the aura embodied in the title. "Vortex of Violence" is a safe, satisfying slab of rancid death metal, but I think  the band starts to sound a little tired by the end of the album. "Sacrifice" strikes me as a filler cut while "Last Thing That You See" just drags on and on...this one was way, way too long.

A great hunk of rough-hewn American death metal, "Vortex of Violence" is a kind of turning point fot the boys...I think they will need to shake things up a bit on the next record to avoid repeating themselves.