What’s in a name? Okay, well, with a name like Slutvomit you’re probably asking for trouble. Still, the Seattle based black metal outfit have recorded a damn(nation?) fine album with Swarming Darkness, an eighties inspired slice of black metal mixed with speed metal, and then given a dash of sleazy punk. If you worshipped Sodom back in the day, then clear a space in your darkened soul for Slutvomit.
Multiple influences come together to create Swarming Darkness. Aside from Sodom, Slutvomit call upon the muses of Venom, Exodus and even a bit of Leftover Crack with the vocals. Nothing here is a blatant rip-off, Slutvomit manage to place their twist on the album, but it is a throwback to old school thrash/speed/black metal. The band pulls no punches. Opening with the title track, Slutvomit pummel you into submission with blast beats and bombastic guitars. The track pops up, slaps you around, and then vanishes.
Slutvomit keep that general vibe going throughout Swarming Darkness. They aren’t a subtle band, nothing here has to do with the nuances of songwriting. Sultvomit want to take their audio sledgehammer and bash your skull in with it. “Downward Falling Christ”, a first in what is a long line of great song titles, gallops in a sloppy, and very punk rock kind of way. The changes nearly fall into each other, and the time comes close to being off. There’s razor precision in how the band executes their riffs, especially given how many of them there are, but the rest is all blasting speed that barely holds it together.
“Lucifer Unbound” is the band dancing with their inner Slayer, while “Bombing The Chapel” (another great song title) is one hundred percent, blast-beat devastation. Immortal would be so proud, as would Destroyer 666. “Morbid Priest (Of Hell), takes things down a notch with a King Diamond-esque intro, that gives way to super speed riffing and drums. “Poservore” (yep, their titles continue to be incredible), nods to a combination between Bay Area Thrash ala Exodus or Testament, and then mixes in a bit of the Sodom worship. Song after song, Slutvomit bring some kind of eighties metal vibe to the party.
The vocals are split between Larson (guitar/vocals) and Sanberg (Bass/Vocals). The two mix up the growly death vocals, with high-pitched screams. Outside of that, it’s all about the riffs. Slutvomit cram as many riffs into each song as humanly possible. They might stop for the occasional cymbal bashing, or thrash groove, but for the most part it’s all hammer-style riffing, the kind that made Possessed and Morbid Angel so good. By the time all forty minutes, and eleven tracks, are done, you’re not sure what just happened. The album explodes all at once, bashes you from all corners, and then ends. Swarming Darkness is a lot like a mugging, a mugging by Satan!!
If there are problems with Swarming Darkness, they mostly come from the amount of repetition to the songs, and how much you can measure your love of early eighties metal. This album isn’t going to win over new metal fans, nor is it going to get an awards for production, songwriting or pushing the envelope. Slutvomit don’t seem to care, they just want to play evil, fast, aggressive, pissed off metal cloaked in an eighties darkness. I’m all for it. Are you?