Vomitory holds an irrefutable position within the Swedish old-school death metal domain. Since their formation in 1989, the band unleashed eight unrelenting albums from 1996 to 2011, securing their status as a prominent force in the genre. Although they disbanded in 2013, their interlude was fleeting, as they reconvened in 2019 to honor their thirtieth anniversary. Presently, a dozen years after their previous release, Vomitory unveils their latest full-length opus, the chilling ‘All Heads Are Gonna Roll,’ featuring the striking cover art of Giannis Nakos.
‘All Heads Are Gonna Roll’ embodies the quintessential Vomitory auditory essence, while simultaneously integrating novel components, delivering an enthralling and immersive experience for fans. Drummer Tobias Gustafsson elucidates that the band meticulously crafted this album, ascertaining their unwavering dedication to the endeavor rather than hastening its production. They commenced by composing a handful of tracks for enjoyment, gauging their capacity to sustain their distinct sound before ultimately determining to persevere and generate a new full-length album.
‘All Heads Are Gonna Roll’ can be characterized as rapid, pulverizing, unyielding death metal, while concurrently presenting unconventional facets to Vomitory’s signature style. Gustafsson expounds that the ensemble concentrated on constructing well-defined choruses for the tracks, an element they had not emphasized in prior works. Moreover, they devoted considerable effort to refining backing vocal arrangements, which they perceive as a rewarding endeavor that has imbued their music with an additional dimension. The band also aspired to craft more direct riffs, evocative of their creations in the early 2000s.
For ‘All Heads Are Gonna Roll,’ Vomitory captured the instrumental tracks within their rehearsal space, utilizing a portable studio setup engineered by Mats Lindström and engaging in self-production. This method granted the ensemble the freedom to work at a comfortable pace and select their preferred working hours. Nevertheless, Gustafsson underscores the necessity of adhering to a stringent recording timetable to avert delays. To record the vocals, the band teamed up with Rikard Löfgren at Leon Music Studios, the location where they had produced their prior three albums. Furthermore, they invited their close associate Christian Fredriksson (Vulkan) to perform guitar solos; however, the remainder of the album is exclusively their own work.
The Swedish death metal scene boasts a storied past, and Vomitory stands as a pivotal group that has contributed greatly to the genre’s evolution. Established in 1989, Vomitory has exerted a profound influence on the progression of Swedish death metal, characterized by their unique sonic signature and ferocious approach to this musical style.
Vomitory was established in Växjö, Sweden, by guitarist Urban Gustafsson and drummer Tobias Gustafsson. The founding lineup consisted of Urban Gustafsson on guitar, Tobias Gustafsson on drums, Ronnie Olson on bass, and Bengt Sund providing vocals. Their moniker was inspired by the Carcass track ‘Vomited Anal Tract,’ which appeared on the 1988 album ‘Reek of Putrefaction.’
During the initial stages of their career, Vomitory embraced a raw and aggressive style of death metal, taking inspiration from trailblazing bands like Entombed, Dismember, and Morbid Angel. Their debut demo, ‘Moribund,’ released in 1993, exemplified their macabre lyrical content and unyielding musical prowess. This demo received favorable critiques and contributed to the band’s growing recognition within the underground death metal community and throughout their history, Vomitory experienced numerous lineup alterations, with the Gustafsson siblings remaining as the sole constant members. Despite these fluctuations, the band preserved a consistent sound, a testament to the robust musical vision held by the founding members.
The unyielding and forceful approach to death metal that Vomitory embodies has left a considerable mark on the Swedish death metal scene, with countless bands acknowledging them as a major influence. Their music has spurred a new wave of death metal bands both in Sweden and globally to persistently push the genre’s boundaries.
In 2013, Vomitory declared their intention to disband, expressing their wish to conclude on a high note and explore other musical endeavors. Their final performance occurred in December 2013, leaving an enduring legacy within the Swedish death metal community. Nonetheless, in 2018, Vomitory revealed their reunion to commemorate their thirtieth anniversary, with several live shows scheduled, demonstrating their sustained relevance and impact on the genre.
As Vomitory matured, their musical progression grew increasingly apparent, integrating more intricate components into their arrangements. Their debut full-length album, ‘Raped in Their Own Blood,’ released on November 18th, 1996, by Metal Blade Records, marked a substantial development from their initial demo recordings, adopting a more sophisticated and polished sound. The album garnered extensive praise from both critics and fans, solidifying Vomitory’s eminent status within the Swedish death metal scene.
‘Raped in Their Own Blood,’ Vomitory’s seminal debut album, exhibited a relentless and fierce approach to death metal, drawing significant inspiration from bands like Entombed and Dismember. Notable tracks such as ‘Nervegasclouds’ and the titular ‘Raped in Their Own Blood’ displayed the band’s brutal sound and morbid lyrical themes, establishing a solid foundation for their future releases.
‘Redemption,’ Vomitory’s sophomore full-length album, was released on March 16th, 1999, via Metal Blade Records. Marking a progression in the band’s musical approach, the album integrates faster tempos, improved technical skill, and a more refined production style. Standout tracks such as ‘The Voyage’ and ‘Ashes of Mourning Life’ highlight Vomitory’s ongoing evolution as artists while maintaining their signature ferocious approach to death metal.
‘Revelation Nausea,’ Vomitory’s third studio album, was unveiled on February 13th, 2001, through Metal Blade Records, signifying another leap in the band’s sonic development. Featuring a more refined production, the album emphasizes intricate guitar work and precise drumming. Outstanding tracks like ‘The Art of War’ and ‘Exhaling Life’ showcase a flawless blend of intensity and technical prowess, further solidifying Vomitory’s status as a powerful force within the death metal sphere.
‘Blood Rapture,’ Vomitory’s fourth studio release, emerged on June 25th, 2002, via Metal Blade Records. The album exemplifies the band’s dedication to refining their sound while maintaining their characteristic relentless intensity. Tracks like ‘Chaos Fury’ and the titular ‘Blood Rapture’ encapsulate the band’s skill in crafting memorable death metal anthems that adroitly balance fierceness and technical mastery.
‘Primal Massacre,’ Vomitory’s fifth studio undertaking, was introduced on April 19th, 2004, via Metal Blade Records. This album observes the band delving into new sonic domains by incorporating elements of grindcore and black metal into their death metal groundwork. This genre fusion is epitomized in tracks such as ‘Gore Apocalypse’ and ‘Cursed Revelations,’ presenting a more varied and dynamic auditory experience. ‘Primal Massacre’ highlights Vomitory’s commitment to expanding their musical horizons while remaining true to their death metal roots.
On April 20th, 2007, Vomitory released their sixth studio magnum opus, ‘Terrorize Brutalize Sodomize,’ through Metal Blade Records. The album epitomizes the band’s ability to deliver a cohesive and potent auditory experience, with each track showcasing relentless aggression, intricate guitar riffs, and fierce lyrical content. Remarkable songs such as ‘Eternal Trail of Corpses’ and ‘Scavenging the Slaughtered’ emphasize Vomitory’s unwavering devotion to their uncompromising and merciless approach to death metal.
Vomitory’s seventh studio work, ‘Carnage Euphoria,’ emerged on May 8th, 2009, via Metal Blade Records. The album represents the zenith of the band’s development, showcasing a refined and polished sound that preserves their signature ferocity and intensity. Tracks like ‘The Ravenous Dead’ and ‘Deadlock’ exemplify the band’s talent for synthesizing technical musicianship with relentless ardor, culminating in a mesmerizing and potent auditory odyssey.
‘Opus Mortis VIII,’ Vomitory’s eighth and most recent studio endeavor, was revealed on April 26th, 2011, through Metal Blade Records. The album encapsulates the band’s continuous honing of their sound, incorporating intricate guitar arrangements and precise drumming while maintaining their ferocious approach to death metal. Remarkable tracks like ‘Regorge in the Morgue’ and ‘The Dead Awaken’ underscore the band’s unwavering evolution and commitment to pushing the boundaries of the genre.
Vomitory’s lyrics are renowned for their morbid and ghastly content, frequently delving into themes of death, gore, and brutality. Inspired by the savage and vivid nature of death metal, the band’s lyrics probe into somber and macabre topics, encompassing war, disfigurement, and the terrors of the human mind. This steadfast dedication to addressing and examining such themes has emerged as a distinguishing trait of Vomitory’s identity, distinguishing them from other bands within the genre.
Vomitory’s methodology in crafting album visuals is as arresting and unforgettable as their lyrical content. The band consistently utilizes dark and vivid imagery in their album artwork, frequently depicting scenes of devastation, annihilation, and other disquieting visuals that echo the themes found in their lyrics. Vomitory’s selection of artwork not only mirrors the savage essence of their music but also enriches the overall auditory experience, offering fans a visual manifestation of the band’s artistic vision.
The alliance between Vomitory’s lyrics and album visuals is evident in their flawless fusion of these two facets. The band’s dedication to delving into grim and macabre themes in both their lyrical content and visual aesthetics generates a coherent and absorbing experience for the listener. This amalgamation of lyrics and visuals functions to consolidate the band’s identity and further sets Vomitory apart within the death metal genre, rendering their work a complete and potent artistic expression.
Boasting striking horror film-inspired visuals and a subtle undertone of anti-religious sentiment, ‘All Heads Are Gonna Roll’ presents a comprehensive experience for death metal enthusiasts, signifying a resounding resurgence following a considerable hiatus between releases.
Throughout their illustrious career, Vomitory has persevered as a constant force in the Swedish death metal landscape, influencing its growth and progression with their relentless, aggressive sonic approach. Their musical odyssey, extending beyond three decades, has etched an enduring imprint on the genre, inspiring a new generation of musicians and cementing their status as pioneers of Swedish death metal.
Death metal enthusiasts can catch a glimpse of the album by watching the video for the title track ‘All Heads Are Gonna Roll,’ directed by Marcus Svensson, available below.