Sinister, Suffocation, Suture. Now they're some good death metal bands, and named because Voracious Scourge includes members from them. Perhaps guitarist Jason McIntyre of Suture decided to start a new project due to his own band's slow release rate.
McIntyre composed the songs with old style death metal in his mind, and found Adrie "Aad" Kloosterwaard (Sinister) for the vocals, ex-Suffocation skinsman Mike Smith, and his Suture mate Lance Strickland on the bass guitar. The style done by VS mixes brutality and evilness. Pulverizing riffage meets otherworldly melodies, apparently coming from that place on the cover artwork by Mark Cooper (the first edition digipak has more of his fantastic artwork, so hunt that edition down).
Fast picking, power chords, slow-ish downtuned beefy neanderthal riffs and miasmic trills are nothing new in death metal, but finding new ideas was not the aim for McIntyre anyway. The riffs themselves can also be obscure, but not every melody is: shrill riff on the closer is like a bow towards Morbid Angel, and 'Harbinger of Our Own Demise's main melody is melancholic, reminding of Bolt Thrower. But back to the riffs; they are something of a mixture of Sinister, Morbid Angel and Nile, but VS mingle around and make their music different enough. The song structures do offer a few twists, perhaps the most "out there" is a acid rock part (!), but the rest happening in the realm of death metal.
The pace fluctuates a lot, definitely helping the music to breathe. It's a good idea to prevent the tightness from choking it. Plus, everything instrument, including vocals, have some reverb in them to fortify the eerie atmosphere. The drumming is technically rich with cool cymbal tricks and its accuracy. The drums sound organic, with hit power changes heard. The bass is audible, sometimes more than other times.
Synthesizer work which is only heard on 'Expiate the Depraved', reminds of Pestilence's 1991 classic 'Testimony of the Ancients': Ethereal and alien. By the way, 'Vaticination' is just an intro, even though an effective one. Definitely a working way to boost up the atmosphere factor.
The vocals are mostly potent throat growl, with some more shrieked ones and some inhuman guesting vocals added for variety. The lyrics are the worst element on here. Dealing with xenophobia, unwanted life and revenge, they aren't very well written and are typical, but the best one, 'Oracle of Repugnance', is a nice change with its dark story (and fitting with the cover, above all).
This is such a fine, fine release of intentionally old style, organic death metal, that it leaves wanting for more. And some news on that: The band have been recording their debut album as of lately and they got Tony Choy on bass guitar (that's why I'm definitely waiting for a more alien album)! Still, this cannot be such a classic as those albums released about 30 years ago (aaaargh, 30, count 'em!), but you decide. I absolutely recommend this, if the price is right.
Rating: 9 (out of 10) ratings explained
Reviewed by Lane