Band: Vile Apparition
Album: Depravity Ordained
Label: Blood Harvest / Memento Mori
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date: January 21st, 2019
Vile Apparition is from an absolutely exploding hotbed of extreme metal excellence, Australia; a four piece compromised of Jamie Colic, Ollie Ballantyne, Dave Kearns, and Dan Harris, collectively they create destructive and heavy death metal. From the ashes of Sewercide, Jamie Colic and Ollie Ballantyne began this project, releasing one demo before filling out their line-up for a split. Depravity Ordained marks the band’s first full length, released by Blood Harvest, one of my favorite labels; the album also includes the four songs of the demo as “hidden” tracks.
The first thing I feel required to address is the worst aspect of this release, the cover art; depicting a large green lizard/woman lying on a hill with a saliva-slicked forked tongue lolling out of her mouth while decapitated, impaled, and possibly cannibalistic men fill the view below. It isn’t that the cover is particularly bad in any way, I actually like the art, but it just doesn’t fit at all for this release. The music is massive and weighty death metal that bludgeons you to a fine powder; the cover art doesn’t blend well with that style, suited better for another sub-genre instead.
Jamie Colic is credited on this album with bass, guitar, and the vocals; his vocal style is perfectly befitting the music, a low deep growl calling to mind a subterranean beast coaxing you to your ruin. The guitarists are Jamie Colic and Dan Harris, the riffs are thick and apocalyptically hefty; there is an element of oppression to the sound of the guitars, sometimes drowning out the rest of music to a dull roar. The solos aren’t overly frequent, but are top-notch show-stealing moments; the talent of these shredders can’t be denied. The bass is performed by Dave Kearns and Jamie Colic, and for the most part it is difficult to discern anything specific beyond a generally heavy low-end, and a sense of fullness to the music. Ollie Ballantyne one of the founding members, rounds out the group as drummer extraordinaire; complex fills slip in between deceptively simple-sounding beats that aid in the utter obliteration Vile Apparition achieve.
The Cursed Path is an unusual electronic instrumental included right in the middle of the album. My first few listens I actually thought I had somehow turned on shuffle and was hearing the intro; everything about the song screams intro/outro, and its inclusion in between four songs on either side breaks the record up sacrificing the momentum. The musical tapestries in the song aren’t reused elsewhere, it doesn’t come out of Aeon of Impalement, nor does it go into the beginning of Malevolent Aphantasia; instead it serves as a bridge between two halves of the album, to mixed results. The song itself is repetitive, and couldn’t possibly sound more out of place sandwiched between two fantastic death metal songs.
Most of the songs on this release are worthy of mentioning something about, but I wanted to highlight a few in particular. Malevolent Aphantasia is one of the better songs on this album packed with, at their worst, still very good death metal; opening with an eerie sound sample, the battering and mid to fast paced song is absolute headbang fodder. Depravity Ordained, the album’s namesake, is another favorite of mine for the mammoth guitar parts and the most memorable of the drum performances on the album for me. Window of the Grotesque closes out the album with a bang; after a little over a minute long intro the pummeling drums and blazing guitars fly in to eviscerate you one last time, and ending in a hallucinatory fade out.
Depravity Ordained is proof that Vile Apparition have the knowledge and the skill to continually crank out quality death metal; Jamie Colic has also been doing that with another project, Gutless, while he and Ollie Ballantyne came from the much missed Sewercide. Though there are a few bumps along the way, there is no denying that there is grandeur within the individuals, the songs, and the album as a whole. Vile Apparition is a band that is earning recognition, and deserving every bit of it; including their demo as a bonus is great way to hear why they became an underground sensation in the first place, and to hear their growth on this release. If you like your death metal hard-hitting with a heavy low-end, this group’s name should be on your lips.
- Mauled and Nameless
- Depravity Ordained
- Dissect to Enucleate
- Aeon of Impalement
- The Cursed Path
- Malevolent Aphantasia
- Repulsive Desire
- The Gate
- Window of the Grotesque
- The Abyssal Plain (demo 2017)
- Anatomized Remnants (demo 2017)
- Atrocious Captivity (demo 2017)
- Fearless Deity (demo 2017)
Total Playing Time: 53:58