The film adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s horror story Re-Animator is one way to describe Witch Vomit. Especially that final scene. Undead corpses tear out of body bags. Harrowing shrieks ricochet off cold concrete walls in the morgue. They move to rip the protagonists apart and a gruesome battle ensues. It’s an inevitable skull smashing slaughter that coats your uvula with black bile. Maybe this is an appropriate analogy just because Vincent, With Vomit’s drummer, was wearing the film’s T-shirt. It glowed of the film’s iconic green syringe, keeping the crowd’s pulse afloat before Rotten Sound took the stage. Who knows. In any case, A Scream From The Tomb Below is horrifying and familiar.
This Portland three-piece sews together the limbs that form old school Swedish death metal. Buzzsaw guitar slices at your throat. Demonic grunts whisper in your ear. It’s a reanimated corpse we’ve seen walking among tombstones since the early 90s. That’s not to the record’s demise, however. Hardcore punk drum kicks resuscitate some groovy moments on “Below the Dirt”. “Screams From Purgatory” flays the skin with a distorted, melodic riff. These moments are few. They claw at the milk white moon of Swedish death metal. Finger nails scratch its surface, but they unearth nothing new. The vocals, guttural and vile, vomit upon tombstones. It splatters a gory texture upon the decaying granite, which is doused in the moon’s old light.
Sure, the bass gets muddled in the mix. The dirt path leading to the tomb is caked with dry blood. It’s a lean cut of morbid death metal, though. It reeks of enthusiasm and stamps your face into the back of your skull. The sacrificial ritual has been performed for centuries. It’s a perpetual resurrection of the same corpse, but the morbid ecstasy that comes with each throat slitting is a fix you cannot escape.
Score: 8.0 / 10.0
Listen to “Screams from Purgatory” above; purchase A Scream From the Tomb Below here.