AN NCS ALBUM PREMIERE (AND A REVIEW): VANISHMENT — “NO MORE TORTURE”
(On March 3rd Dead Sage Records will release No More Torture, the debut album from Seattle-based Vanishment, and today we’re delighted to premiere the album in its entirety, preceded by the following review written by Todd Manning.)
Retro-thrash can be a dicey affair. Too many bands opt to play an oversimplified version of the genre and forget the nuance and complexity exhibited by many groups as they developed. However, this isn’t the case on No More Torture, the debut full-length from Seattle’s Vanishment.
While No More Torture is the group’s debut, these guys are no rookies. Containing current members of Trial, Himsa, Heiress, and Lair of the Minotaur, their collective experience shines through in both instrumental chops and songwriting acumen.
photo by Peter Line
The funny thing is, the first riff on the album opener “Door to Deceit” is pure Slayer worship. It’s honestly a kick-ass riff but doesn’t necessarily predict what is to come. A few twists and turns later and things have changed. The back half of the song sounds more like Time Does Not Heal-era Dark Angel, an album that saw that band also step up their own technicality.
From here, Vanishment are off the races. “Dismiss the Warning” shows them in their true element. Astonishing guitar interplay keeps the music nimble and when the solos arrive the shredding is awesome. These songs are intricate without losing the plot. The metal comes first and all the chops are in service of the song.
Vanishment then continue moving from strength to strength. It’s a testament to the band that vocalist Rob Ropkins doesn’t steal the show, because with lesser talents around him, he could have. He possesses a great classic thrash voice, able to simultaneously scream and carry a melody. On songs like “Killing the Sun “ and “Death Calls” he sounds like an impressive blend of Chuck Billy and a lower-pitched Warell Dane. He commands every song with power and presence, dealing out hook after hook.
photo by Peter Line
“Severed Cord” and album closer “Last Hope for Comfort “ battle it out for the best song. The former channels Nevermore instrumentally with its intricate yet heavy take on thrash while the latter is full of unexpected chord changes that nod once again to Dark Angel. Despite the comparisons though, Vanishment are their own beast.
No More Torture makes me long for the glory days of thrash, particularly the Bay Area masters. If Vanishment had been around then instead of now, they easily could’ve held their own with the likes of Testament and Forbidden along with most other acts of the time. But I don’t need to be in a nostalgic mood to give this a spin, it’s a great album on its own — as you’ll now discover for yourselves. You’ll find a pre-order link and more info below.
Vanishment drummer Chris Wozniak has shared with us his own comments about the album:
“No More Torture is the end product of five veteran metal heads combining their vision for what a great metal album should look and sound like. There are already plenty of niche, avant-garde, bleeding-edge metal bands out there making albums that challenge the listener. This is NOT one of those albums. Our mission is to bring the metal you know and love while adding our own secret blend of spices and seasonings. This album will feel new and familiar to the listener at the same time.”
Rob Ropkins (Deadly Light, North American Bison) – vocals
Brian Johnson (Himsa, Trial) – guitar
Jeremy McAllister (Heiress, Wizards Of Wor) – guitar
Nate Baker (Hell Promise, Formula One) – bass
Chris Wozniak (Lair Of The Minotaur, Earthen Grave) – drums
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