Vehemence - Helping The World To See

posted by Greg, Tuesday May 25, 2004 @ 12:10:08 PM

Artist: Vehemence (www.vehemence.com)
Album: Helping the World To See
Release Date: April 6th, 2004
Label: Metal Blade



Rating: 8.5/10

Recommended Tracks: Kill For God, You Don't Have To Be Afraid Anymore, Spirit of The Soldier

Following up 2003's impressive Metal Blade debut God Was Created, the boys from Vehemence return in 2004 with Helping The World To See. I don't know (or really care, for that matter) about helping out the world with anything, but this disc will certainly help put your fist in the air and help get your head violently rocking back and forth as it punishes you with sickly sweet riffs and melodies all on top of a pounding percussion section.

Vehemence play a unique and difficult to describe brand of black/melodic/death metal. Probably the closest comparison I can offer is a much more brutal-sounding Opeth, though without as many acoustic interludes. While God Was Created was a concept album about a nice young man who thinks he has become Jesus Christ through raping and killing catholic school girls (yes, you read that correctly), Helping The World To See covers a much more broader scope in terms of sound and subject matter.

Sure, these Arizonans cover familiar ground with songs about religion, death, and violence, but they take a much more interesting approach musically and lyrically to these themes that put them a cut above other metal bands. Whereas the album God Was Created contained lyrics so blasphemous they'd make Glen Benton of Deicide fame blush, Helping's lyrics are much more far-reaching and interesting. Take the song "Trinity Broadcasting (Know Your Enemy)" for instance, which is a tongue-in-cheek song about the Trinity Broadcasting Network, a famous evangelical cable channel. You've probably seen it flipping through the channels while sitting at home dateless again on a friday night (and if you are what the hell is wrong with you? Turn off your TV and turn on WREKAGE on Friday nights if you're gonna stay in!), the channel with the big-haired-too-much-makeup lady begging and pleading for you to send in money to them so you too can feel Jesus' love. This song describes her as the "pink haired god woman/buried in makeup" and advises you to "never mind the molesters/it's all part of god's plan". Then there's the song "You Don't have to Be Afraid Anymore", which is based on a true story about a recently divorced husband in Arizona who comes back to murder his ex-wife, daughters, and newborn baby before killing himself. Creepy and chilling stuff, but it's called death metal for a reason, folks.

Perhaps the weakest part of the album is the instrumental in the middle, the track "Alone In Your Presence". It's a very chilled out, mostly acoustic interlude of spaced out guitars, and it's very well done for what it is, but it really kills the mood of the album after coming off the heels of five balls-to-the-wall thrashers. They could have put another actual song in its place instead of including what more or less amounts to a freelance jam session.

That's really just a minor nitpick though, as this is one of the most solid metal releases to come out this year so far. You owe it to yourself to help your CD collection to see that it definitely needs a space for this awesome album.

- Greg


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