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Old 09-27-2007, 11:01 PM   #1
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Vengeful - Karma: Review in Metal Maniacs

Vengeful - Karma

Being marketed as a death metal band from Quebec that draws from the Immolation, Nile, Gorguts and Cryptopsy well of influence didn’t exactly have me running with any amount of baited breath towards the ol’ Sony with Vengeful’s debut album in hand. Being a DM band from Quebec these days is on par with being black and from Africa. Also, Immolation and Nile have new releases available this year (go to Vengeful’s website and they’re gushing in anticipation over Ithyphallic as much as they are Karma!) and former members of Gorguts have returned and are blowing minds with Negativa; really, do we need yet another fucking band rehashing the same riffs, triggering their kick drums and ultimately adding nothing to the game?! Hell no! But thankfully Vengeful has taken a few steps and at least attempted to distinguish themselves from most of their contemporaries at home and abroad. They didn’t do this by adding anything from way out of left field to their decidedly brutal sound, but at the same time, Karma doesn’t come across like a rote regurgitation of death metal standards. Included in the mix is a filthy grindcore element along the lines of Nasum, Pig Destroyer’s groove, Brutal Truth influenced guitar work and the occasional off-kilter rhythm à la Leng Tch’e. The 10-minute epic, “Counterfeit Deity”, kicks off sounding like Possesed before slowly stripping layers and concluding as an aching, throbbing near-doom/sludge scrapheap. Black metal riffs and vocal screeching abound in “Burial (Parts 1 and 2),” “Sentenced” is a kick-ass tune that sounds like pre-Kevin Sharp Brutal Truth and the album’s outro recalls a tribal-ish, Sepultura workout. The production quality swings and sways between low-end, muddy sludge and tin-sheet thin black metal with drummer Jean-Sébastien Gagnon’s slippery style combining Pete Sandoval’s rapid-fire attack and D-beat pounding and chameleon-like vocalist Marc-André Grenier going from vomiting grizzly bear to a buzzsaw banshee and back quite regularly. Brass Tacks: There’s enough injected into Karma to keep the listener on their toes and discover new elements with each listen and aren’t those the sorts of records that are always the ones with the most staying power? – Kevin Stewart-Panko

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