Written by Chrisy
Verminoth – Primordial Tomb
Release Date: October 8th, 2021
Death Metal from York, Pennsylvania
Formed in 2020, Verminoth consists of members Bobby Yagodich (vocals), Zach Nace (Guitars), Jeff Kormos (Guitars), Brent Leinheiser (Bass & Vocals), and Mark Bixler (Drums) and has stayed under much of the radar, releasing a 2-song demo only in September of 2021, and ‘Primordial Tomb’ soon thereafter as their debut album. To summarize their own words this album brings together their love of old school death metal style guitars and modern groove-like drumming. Verminoth pull just as much energy from death metal as they do from aspects of hardcore, and other extreme inspirations creating a blend of frenzied death metal with a grunge-packed kick to the face. The album features 10 songs of groove-packed, fresh death metal that pulls you through a vile hellscape that ascends from a cracked earth, penetrating the broken ruins of the eternal decay that is the ‘Primordial Tomb’.
The first track called simply, “I” creates the album’s ambience; building tension with eerie sounds, and trickling waters. It’s light, barely audible – setting the stage for something dark, and vile waiting to emerge from the shadows. What rises is “Death Vortex” that jumps at you with classic death metal riffs and harsh vocals. Despite craving a uniqueness, Verminoth’s sound comes off similar in style to bands like Ossuary and Thorn. Simple differences are what Verminoth needs to stick with here, with their haunting guitar solos in the background, and eerie atmospheric tone, to keep them standing out.
“Perpetual Neurotic Orbit” targets typical death metal rhythms in a slow burn but, fast-paced fashion with double-kickers at full usage and guitars articulating sludgy, heart-sinking drops. It’s a solid track but, it doesn’t stand out from the rest of the album except for its talented solos that seem to come at the exit of each track.
The fourth track, “Unborn Indefinitely” is a standout with demonic growls introducing us to a more favourable rhythm. Unfortunately, the following deep-throated growls sounds more like a stomach-grumbling belch than anything gruesome and could’ve easily been done away with for a better impact. It’s less heavy than other tracks on the album but, filled with a unique pace that takes time to build momentum and atmosphere; bringing a tremendously heavy drop at the midway point that gets everyone head-banging along. Guitar work is key here and is perfectly executed with rich shreds and synchronized playthroughs. “Unborn Indefinitely” would be the track I favour most on this album and is the tone this band should proceed into the future with.
“II”, simply titled once more, holds a break in the album’s journey once more painting the image of a walk through a hellish cavern, searching for something more. Is it dread that follows you, or something far more sinister? You listen further, as you lust for the knowledge of your destination.
The album’s title track, “Primordial Tomb” shows the groove-laden drums in amplification. Vocals here are not meant to outshine the music itself, which stands out in its prime intention. Talented bass work holds everything together so that guitars and drums never fall out of sync, while still having time to show off their own skill in the spotlight. I’ll admit, I’m a fan of Verminoth’s unique guitar solos, and how they’re always placed at the end of a track, as if demanding you to slip further into the hellish ruins should you wish to hear more.
“Vulgar Ascension” and “Obsolescence” could easily be fused into one epic track, with vicious guitars once more leading us through. Obsolescence has the ferocity and pacing death metal is known for, while Vulgar Ascension has the perfect vocals to fit.
“Defiled Cadaver Autopsy” is the final vocalized piece to this 10-track album with doom-metal style leads that escalate into ear-defiling guitars and eerily gentle drums. You anticipate the pickup but, it surprises you no matter your predictions. It’s the speed and intensity I was waiting for and would’ve been better suited at the album’s beginning than the end. With a length of 7 minutes, it’s a bit of a commitment but, it never bores. For those seeking to know what Verminoth is truly capable of, this is the track to show off. Vocals are cleaner, despite lesser in quantity, leaving many of the fascinating yet unnecessary growls behind in favour of impact – which is greatly admired.
“III” leaves us lost in the labyrinthian ruins of this hellscape. Screams echo into a thundering blackness while water begins to pour in from the dampened rocks above. You see movement in the shadows. You feel chilled and afraid and yet you cannot stop watching. They begin to crawl up from the depths; the cracks and crevices below your feet tremble. Do they come to feed, or do they come for more?
The Bottom Line
Overall, this album is a solid debit but, that’s not to say it doesn’t need some refinement. The sound is there, the effort and desire is bold and passionate but, they’re still only starting out. Vocal depth, if the heavy lows are to continue, need practice to move away from more stomach-churning sounds to purely demonic and deep in tone. However, the cleaner style that appears throughout shows great potential, and deserves more expression. It’s got story, talent, and an enormous amount of skill for a 2020 formation, and I honestly can’t wait to see the strength that Verminoth has being used to its full potential.
FFO: Ossuary, Gorgon and Eye of Purgatory