“Disemboweling Swine”

By Thor

Scottsdale, Arizona’s Reign of Vengeance plays an adventurous and daring brand of extreme metal the likes of which I guarantee you haven’t heard before.  Their latest album, “Disemboweling Swine”, is built on a solid foundation of brutal and technical death metal, ala Gorgasm and Guttural Secrete.  However, the band pulls in elements from a majority of the myriad extreme sub-genres and ties them into their approach.  Surprisingly, the results aren’t scattered and unfocused because all of these other influences are at least treated with a coat of brutal death metal paint which renders them homogenous with every other element.

The closest thing to Reign of Vengeance, as far as their musical approach is concerned, would be Cephalic Carnage, only the former is a bit more polished and seemingly more adept at presenting everything in a unified form as opposed to the occasionally frenetic-yet-purposeful mash up of metal that Cephalic Carnage presents.  It should come as no surprise that the two bands share bass-ace, Nick Schendzielos.  Reign of Vengeance presents elements of punkish grind, modern thrash, and power-groove amid a flurry of brutal blast beats and violent passages of meaty death metal, designed to make your neck sore.  They tie it all together intelligently and sans the pretentiously ironic wink-and-nod to the metallic trends of the day.

The playing and production quality on “Disemboweling Swine” is absolutely top-level.  The guitar work is a dynamic blend of brutal riffs and orchestral, atmospheric shredding and the bass playing is among the most creative I’ve heard in a while.  Lyrically, the band covers much of the same ground that other death metal bands do, but there is clearly a higher level of ambition with Reign of Vengeance.  There’s an omnipresent and entertaining narrative component to the entire album that’s buffeted by various samples and spoken word bits throughout. 

Conceptually, the album ties the very best elements of Stephen King together with macabre modern day penny dreadful material.  It culminates with a meta-fictional faux-newscaster implicating the band as being mysteriously responsible by way of lyrical prophesy for a series of bizarre and horrifying events in their hometown, events described in the songs you’ve just heard.  It’s brilliant. If you’re looking for something to make you excited and inspired by death metal again, Reign of Vengeance’s “Disemboweling Swine” is it.