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(AFM Records)

Colin Liddell

colin liddell

vore gravehammer

You can't help liking these guys and wishing them well. After all, they have been following the Metal torch wherever it leads them for 18 years, self-releasing albums and failing to find a label. Like the hammer-wielding monster warrior who adorns the cover of their third opus, the Arkansas trio have been in the Metal wars, but they have soldiered on regardless.

They are also good at what they do and are conscientious about their craft. This is evident from opening track, 'The Cruelest Construct', which sets out the proverbial stall with Page Townsley's squalling guitar lines neatly intercut with Remy Cameron's terse militaristic drumming, topped by Townsley's death growls and hell roar. It's tight and controlled, like watching a pack of tarot cards being expertly shuffled or synchronized swimming by killer sharks.

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The tempo ranges below most death Metal but, as on second track 'The Unseen Hand', is way too fast for doom, although like doom their music has room to breathe, brood, and exhale its gloomy vapors. 'Doomwhore' opens with Jeremy Partin's pulsing, echoey bass-line. This is then buried in dense riffing and insistent drumming, but the production is so clean that Townsley's ominous growl moves through the noise mesh as nimbly as a wolf through a forest.

Townsley's epic voice seems so natural that you imagine he probably uses it to speak to his mum when he phones her on Sundays. 'Doomwhore' is a great track but during it you get a sense that the elements of their sound are keeping out of each other's way just a bit too neatly.

Uruboros, a ghostly acoustic interlude, is obviously there to set up the album title track in a calm-before-the-storm way, but 'Gravehammer' itself is slightly disappointing. Straining to sound heavier than anything else on the album, it is initially impressive but veers towards plodding.

Vore are to be praised for their lack of pretentiousness and for being straightforward death Metal. I'll second that, but my main gripe with the band is that at times they seem too comfortable. Should Death ever sound comfortable? Also, the music sometimes comes across as too well-drilled, the production too clean, and Townsley's guttural growls and lengthy screams, while impressive, seem lacking in real angst and rage.

Vore might not have hit the death metal big-time but they've found something they're good at and now seem to be in their comfort zone. If they want to get further, I suspect they'll have to unleash a little more unpredictability, danger, and genuine pain and rage in their music.

Perhaps these final, unkind words of mine will help them in that endeavour.




Here's a fabulous Aerosmith pictorial document as seen through the lens of famed British photographer Tony Mottram. Tony photographed the band over many years for various magazines and now has a monthly column here on MetalTalk.

As was often the case, only one photo ever got published and in the fast moving world of weekly magazines sometimes entire sessions would be done and left undeveloped.

Tony started shooting Aerosmith from towards the end of the period with Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay and onwards through the return of original members Joe Perry and Brad Whitford that resulted in the albums 'Done With Mirrors', 'Permanent Vacation' and 'Pump'.


As well as shooting the band several times in England, this collection includes images from a session at the band's rehearsal room in Boston. Littered throughout is a mixture of live and off stage photos including a selection of photos taken at London's famous Marquee club when they were joined on stage by Jimmy Page.

This limited edition hardback book, presented in a flight case and printed on silk paper, is an opportunity to own a unique selection of photos, most of which have never seen the light of day before.

This unique item is presented in an aluminium flight case and will be published in late November. Earlybird subscribers who order by 31st October will have their name printed within a dedicated page in the book.

To be sure not to miss out on this unique, future collector's item, hit the PayPal button here:

Publication date: 31st November 2017
ISBN: 978-1-908724-81-6
Format: Casebound.
Pages: 128 pages, printed on 170 gsm, silk paper.
Size: A4 landscape.


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