Vomit "Still Rotting" CDPosted on Friday, June 29th, 2007 @ 8:55am » permalink
"Still Rotting" is a killer collection from Lyderhorn Records that gathers almost every track recorded by classic Norwegian death/thrash act Vomit. The band formed in 1984 (or 1985, depending on where you read it) and is apparently cited as one of the earliest and most influential bands in the Norwegian metal scene – not to mention being known for their friendship with Euronymous and the fact that they briefly shared a couple of members with a pre-Dead and Hellhammer Mayhem in the mid-80's. This CD contains 22 tracks in all (in the following order) from the "Rot in Hell" demo (1987), a November '86 rehearsal, tracks from a rehearsal sometime in 1987, a June '87 rehearsal, and a March '87 rehearsal. While certain elements of the material do lean towards the aggression and speed of early death metal (mainly on the "Rot in Hell" demo, where they seemed to perform with greater speed and ferocity than elsewhere), this is basically primal thrash with straightforward riffs and structures, ripping solos, and probably a few more tempo changes than one would expect. In fact, the earliest tracks from 1986 (which actually sound slightly better than any of the other sessions herein) – while quite fast at times – tend to be a little more midpaced and "traditional" sounding with regard to early- to mid-80's thrash and metal, with a couple of lightly melodic areas strewn about, as well as occasional similarities to "Show No Mercy" era Slayer. Beginning with track 12, the first 1987 rehearsal (complete date uncredited), things start to sound rougher on the ears and the recording quality starts to vary significantly in terms of clarity, noisiness, and balance. But for the most part everything on this CD is surprisingly listenable considering its ages and sources, and it's only the March '87 rehearsal (which closes things out) that's a little hard to sit through in terms of its super muddy, dirty, degraded sound.
The LP version of the release contains 50 minutes of material with one exclusive track ("Death to Children"), which would've annoyed the hell out of me except that it probably wouldn't fit on the CD anyway seeing as the disc is already a little over 79 minutes in length. Plus, that song came from the crude-sounding March '87 rehearsal anyway, so… screw it. The packaging variations between the two formats is my only point of contention here, as the CD packaging has cooler looking artwork, but the booklet (which basically contains nothing but a few old photos manipulated to match the high contrast black/red aesthetic of the design) blows compared to that of the LP. The LP contains an awesome 11" x 11" black and white booklet with a brief band bio, shitloads of photos, scans of old fanzine reviews and interviews (as well as a few handwritten letters from years and years ago), etc. So… if nothing else, I definitely think the CD booklet should've at least included the bio, you know? But… what can you do? It's not that big a deal when all is said and done, though, because I'm just glad to see releases like this happen at all. I've always found these types of records that document heavy metal obscurities to be really enjoyable and interesting, and that's what truly matters at the end of the day…
Absolutely show your support for these types of diehard releases and purchase a copy if you're interested in the material: