VITAL REMAINS - FOREVER UNDERGROUND - OSMOSE
Two things have always puzzled me about Vital Remains. The first is the name. What does it mean? Second is how could it release an album as strong as Into Cold Darkness and be so ignored by their former label Music For Nations? Said album was extremely accomplished in all aspects. I guess strong music is just not 'in'. Fortunately, Osmose Productions main man Herve has now snapped the Americans up and this former EP-turned-full-length is no disappointment, with the sole surprise being the exit of main man and band founder Jeff Gruslin from the fold. He is the man always equated with Vital Remains. As for Forever Underground (superb title), the album is once again blessed with a top notch sound, bringing forth the crushing brutality of the band. It is very death metal, but the band sadly falls prey to the sheepishness of their species and introduces Morbid Angel into the song I Am God and some keyboard here and there: a blemish on an otherwise pure album. The songs themselves (aside from filler track Farewell to Messiah) are too long. Vital Remains does not really know when to stop. Yet it is a testimony to the power of its music that the album retains a crushing appeal destined to become Forever an Underground favourite. - Ali "The Metallian"
VITAL REMAINS - DECHRISTIANIZE - OLYMPIC/CENTURY MEDIA
Following a short intro, which might be a clip from the Omen movies, Vital Remains launches into a musical tirade against Jesus which can be slow, mid-paced or fast (usually the latter), but regardless of tempo is consistently tight, slick and proficient. The core duo is obviously a cohesive unit now and with the vocals of guest frontman Glen Benton of Deicide has found the perfect vehicle to spew rage unto the metal masses. Glen Benton is a great fit for the band. For he can not only sound infernally brutal at will, but also is the band's equal in the ideological arena. The solos are a highlight here, with the CD delivering high speed and melodic leads every so often. The rest of the instruments are also well-recorded. Dechristianize is a death/black metal highlight in the form of a longer-than-average songs and album. - Ali "The Metallian"
VITAL REMAINS – ICONS OF EVIL – CENTURY MEDIA
Without further ado Vital Remains’ Icons Of Evil is an equal opportunity blasphemer of all that is holy. While the Christian masses have become accustomed to being attacked by black metal, the latest album by Vital Remains featuring Glen Benton on vocals unleashes upon both Islam and Christianity. Unlike Vile though racism does not seem a factor at first glance with these guys. Century Media thinks there is not enough holy water on this planet to wash away this unholiness, and they might have guessed correctly, except holy water is nonsense to begin with.
Icons Of Evil is the continuation of the legacy of a band, which has continuously delivered top quality black metal without compromise. It is sadly amusing to hear musicians who have been practising their art for 20 years crush their younger and newer colleagues who have mistaken black metal for goth rock and a clangy keyboard. Amazing. As is the Yngwie Malmsteen cover version. - Ali “The Metallian”