“Hyper Groove Brutality”

by Thor

Tokyo, Japan’s ambassadors of brutal death metal are back, at long last, with a new full-length aptly called “Hyper Groove Brutality.”

I own this band’s full-length debut, 1999’s “Supreme Entity,” an album I bought when it was new at Madison, WI’s punk/metal sanctuary EARWAX RECORDS.  That album struck us all as infectiously catchy and cartoonish brutal, if a little gimmicky.  Then…poof!  For all intents and purposes, Vomit Remnants disappeared.

Fast forward nearly 20 years and here we are: a new album featuring a new lineup.  Vomit Remnants is essentially a brand-new band, unrelated to its prior iteration, and this album might as well be their debut.

Two things are immediately apparent about “Hyper Groove Brutality.”  One is that it’s overtly digital.  Nothing about it sounds analog at all.  That’s not a total surprise as these guys’ prior lineup unapologetically embraced digital technology 18 years ago, utilizing unnatural-sounding kick drum triggers and 808 drops and things like that as part of their approach.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with that.  It’s just a little conspicuous during an era when all their peers go out of their way to hide the fact that they’re recording albums entirely “in the box.”

The other thing that defines “Hyper Groove Brutality” is that it’s heavily inspired by the mighty Dying Fetus.  For those of you who dig that band – and I do – this isn’t a bad quality at all. However, it’s not subtle.  The incredibly similar two-vocalist assault, the slams, the arrangements, it’s all an homage bordering on impersonation.

Even considering these defining characteristics – ones that could easily be off-putting to the discerning metal head out there -- “Hyper Groove Brutality” is a solid album of catchy, super-heavy death metal jams.  I dig it.  And that’s likely because I have an affinity for this particular style of death metal.  If you’re a fan of the hardcore-inspired brutality of bands like Dying Fetus and Internal Bleeding, or you’re looking for something the sole purpose of which is heaviness, then Vomit Remnants’ “Hyper Groove Brutality” is worth your while.