A band calling itself Bones and their album Vomit couldn’t be anything other than death metal could it? This isn’t a genre I tend to engage with very often, however, seeing as the group are currently sailing the good ship Disorder Recordings, I figured there has to be something special about them when compared to their run of the mill contemporaries. So here I am…
Bones is a Chicago trio consisting of drummer/vocalist Joe Warlord (Usurper), guitarist Carcass Chris (ex-Usurper), and bassist/lead vocalist Jon Necromancer (Contrition, High Spirits, ex-Usurper). Vomit is their fourth album to date and the follow-up to 2017s Diseased. The artwork by XNA Casperson is somewhat typical for a band of the genre and gives you an idea that we are about to embark on a potentially gruesome and disgusting affair (in a good way).
Beware Of Ghouls combines thrash with moments of metallic hardcore reminiscent of Marauder and Pro-Pain, vocal comparisons could be drawn to Gary Meskill of the latter as they are certainly a lot gruffer than the guttural style you’d come to associate with death metal. This makes for an unexpected and enjoyable start to the album. Death Sentence has an early ‘90s Max Cavalera fronted Sepultura groove metal feel to it. There is also a late ‘70s punk aesthetic as well with nods to bands such as San Francisco’s Crime and The Dictators, I love the effect the band are going for on this number.
Noose up’s the tempo significantly with some excellent blastbeat drumming, there is a crustier Wolfbrigade vibe present with some Motörhead worship thrown in for good measure too, meanwhile Tower Of Skulls takes a sludgier approach, albeit with a tad more aggression, think High on Fire, Black Tusk and bands in that vein. There is such an energy and exuberance to be had here that you cannot help but be swept along by.
blackened death metal and thrash played with a crust punk/hardcore edge…
Brazen Bull reminds one of vintage late ‘80s Slayer (South Of Heaven era), the screams resembling that of Tom Araya and Retch, the shortest track on the album, demonstrates the band’s willingness to experiment with some cool Neurosis style drumming from Joe Warlord. Death doom seems to be the order of the day on the title track Vomit which is imbued with the spirit of Autopsy (Mental Funeral especially), Dream Death and nods to Celtic Frost as well, meanwhile Bloodlust again taps into metallic hardcore, this time it’s the Cro-Mags that are brought to mind due to the prevalence of a streetwise New York hardcore attitude.
The album ends with a cover of Van Halen’s She’s The Woman which was recorded just days before Eddie Van Halen’s death according to the promo notes and features Nick Hernandez of Dysphoria on guest vocals. The track originally featured on Van Halen’s final album, 2012s A Different Kind Of Truth, and to be honest feels somewhat out of place and unnecessary. It’s not helped by the fact that Van Halen, as with Kiss, is a band whose appeal has always been a little lost on me. Bones‘ cover is well performed and hence absolutely fine for what it is, but I’ll more than likely not be jamming this one too often truth be told.
Bones reminded me of Florida’s Hot Graves and their Magnificent Death/Haunted Graves releases which I reviewed at the start of 2020, blackened death metal and thrash played with a crust punk/hardcore edge. There are no silly nods to Satan (Deicide), or daft song titles and themes (Cannibal Corpse), just a no-nonsense incredibly engaging compact twenty-six-minute listen and that’s good enough for me.
Scribed by: Reza Mills